MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Moss brings blues to Northeastern Oklahoma

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Jun. 4—Local blues musician Pat Moss is in the process of recording new music, and he's getting ready for his Labor Day Dusk 'Til Dawn Blues Fest in Rentiesville, which will take place in September.

Moss came from a musical family that primarily played bluegrass music.

"I rebelled against that generation, and I learned to play the blues. After hearing a record of Jimmy Reed as a kid, I couldn't go back," said Moss.

Currently, he is also doing solo and acoustic shows with a band in Mississippi.

"They have blues festivals there year-round. They more or less agree that blues came from there. Clarksville, Mississippi is the capital," said Moss.

He also tours Louisiana and Texas. On occasion, he performs in his hometown of Tahlequah and within Oklahoma.

In 2019, Moss was inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame, which came as a surprise to him. To his friends in the music scene, he is known as the Jook Point Preacher because he is known for playing music like he would preach a sermon.

"I've an ongoing project in Memphis with Royal Studios, which is Willie Mitchell's studio. I've been getting a bunch of originals for posterity, it will be released, probably next year. I'm taking my time," said Moss.

He said that the pandemic has made it difficult for musicians to make money.

"COVID gave us a good hit. I have a friend that works for [George] "Buddy" Guy in Chicago. He was in the room. Buddy wasn't on the phone with me, but we were talking. He said, 'I have won Grammys, and I'm struggling to find a $300 gig,'" he said.

Moss enjoys the music scene in Tahlequah and Northeastern Oklahoma and hopes that younger musicians have opportunities to make music a career, and that Tahlequah residents support them by purchasing their music and paying cover charges.

"There's a guy in Tulsa named Conor Culpepper. Everyone should watch him. He's a good kid and a good musician," he said. "Wherever I go, there's always a 16-year-old that can tear up his guitar. They are born playing it. With YouTube tutorials, anyone who has the want, can pretty much get on there and learn how to shred a guitar."