I call it Ôself-help for hippies’,” Mosier laughs of the music he’s now creating with Blueground Undergrass. ‘I try to speak to people as if they were just like me, because guess what? They are. I’m no different because I stand up and run my hand over a piece of wood. That’s what Col. Bruce (Hampton) used to say, which, you know, in ’88, was something I needed to hear.”- Rev Jeff Mosier
Atlanta GA-The Reverend Jeff Mosier has another “first” to add to his expansive repertoire of banjo feats. August 1, the good Reverend, accompanied only by his banjo, performed the national anthem before the Atlanta Braves game. An estimated crowd of over 28,000 and a world wide tv audience witnessed Mosier’s unforgettable rendetion of the Star Spangled Banner.
In a career that has spanned nearly two decades, the man who is best known as the purveyor of psychedelic hickhop bluesgrass, has reformed his brainchild BLUEGROUND UNDERGRASS. Blueground features Mosier as well as musical partners David Blackmon on fiddle (WIDESPREAD PANIC) and Matthew Williams on vocals and guitar.
The Reverend Jeff Mosier is one of the founders of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and has a long and colorful history in the jam band genre. His special ability to combine bluegrass with trance, jazz and rock have made him an icon in the jam band world. The Reverend has shared the stage with Leftover Salmon,Widepsread Panic,Vassar Clemments, and many more. He toured in l994 with Phish and tutored them in the ways of bluegrass (“Perhaps no guest artist has had as great an influence on the band’s music as the Rev Jeff Mosier…”- The Phish Companion).
To add to an already eclectic musical career, The Reverend also performs for senior citizens and Alzheimers patients as well as children. He is active in public service, combining his musicianship with speaking engagements. Recently, The Reverend worked with juvenile inmates at the Macon State Prison to produce a cd of original music.
Formed originally in 1998 by the Reverend Jeff Mosier, BlueGround UnderGrass developed a solid reputation and nationwide following by playing its self proclaimed high energy mix of ‘psychedelic hickhop bluesgrass” all across the country. Touring from 1998 until early 2002, and after releasing three unique albums, they disbanded in February of 2002.However this year, Mosier reformed the band with some of the original members of BlueGround, as well as other great players from some of his more recent projects.
Blueground was always known for its high energy live shows and eclectic arrangements of various roots music styles along with rock. Their sonic ‘wall of twang type sound” pleased the whole spectrum of fans from hippies to cloggers to rockers, taking them to the brink of almost moshpit energy, yet guiding the show with clear song driven clarity along the way. A veteran of the jamband scene, Mosier has always remained on the cutting edge of experimental music. He is a founding member of Col. Bruce Hampton’s original Aquarium Rescue Unit (1988), and over the years, the Reverend has been seen on stage with Widespread Panic, the Allman Brothers Band, Leftover Salmon and Phish. In 2002, he played banjo on Leftover Salmon’s first tour after the tragic loss of banjoist Mark Vann. The Reverend toured with Phish in 1994 while tutoring them in the ways of bluegrass music. (‘Perhaps no other guest artist has had as great an influence on the band’s history as the Reverend Jeff Mosier” from The Phish Companion).
Speaking recently of Blueground’s music Mosier said,’I never want our music to lose the tradition of the porch no matter how much remodeling was done to the house over time.” Blueground will continue in that spirit and tradition by recreating old BlueGround UnderGrass originals, ‘rocking out” bluegrass standards, and by introducing new songs and sounds to their live shows. Joining Mosier again is legendary rock and bluegrass fiddle/mandolin player David Blackmon, of Widespread Panic fame. The original fiddler for Blueground, Blackmon rejoins the band bringing their bluegrass songs to heights not heard from the band in years. David is the ultimate musician in spirit and talent. Brand new to the revived Blueground is Matthew Williams, formerly with the group Captain Soularcat, from Atlanta GA. Speaking recently of the newest addition to Blueground “rev” Mosier says,”Matthew’s unique talents will be a welcomed addition to BGUG. He “rocks” and he “rolls” ! He rolls with us as we improvisationally morph through our live shows! He provides such a needed energy as a writer and singer. The few shows we have done have been some of the most free-flowing moments that David Blackmon and I have heard in a longtime! He has a humble spirit, yet remains a confident, fearless and competent live performer.”
All in all, BlueGround UnderGrass, guided by the Rev. Jeff Mosier, will be doing what they have always done best, which is to provide each and every crowd with a unique, energetic and unforgettable live show of great music tailor made to each moment.