Mobtown Moon gives us one epic, memorable evening

photo courtesy of Phylicia Ghee

photo courtesy of Phylicia Ghee

22 primary instrumentalists and vocalists, 2 performance poets, 27 members in the choir. 3 years of planning. many sleepless nights. seemingly infinite to-do lists. 10 songs needing last-minute rehearsals. but then…700 people in the audience. a whole room filled with intensely happy anticipatory vibes. 2.5 hours of musical magic. – Sandy Asirvatham of Mobtown Moon via Facebook

I remember vividly when singer/songwriter, ellen cherry first told me about the Mobtown Moon idea that she and fellow songwriter, Sandy Asirvatham were formulating. It was a couple years ago and we were meeting  to discuss her most recent LP, Please Don’t Sell the Piano. cherry and I had stayed in contact since early 2010 when she performed at a coffee house at Loyola University, my alma mater. I was blown away by Please Don’t Sell the Piano‘s urgency, especially the standout track, “Pickett’s Charge,” and couldn’t wait to sit down and chat with her. At that time the news of Mobtown Moon slid past me – I was never much of a Pink Floyd fan and wanted to focus on her solo work.

Fast Forward. Spring of this year I got an exclusive first listen, as the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation proudly helped fund the project. Although my exposure to The Darkside of the Moon had been only surface-level, the texture and relevancy of Mobtown Moon blew my mind. I then spent an afternoon at cherry’s Hamilton home with her and Asirvatham discussing the epic project. After patiently waiting for several months, spinning the record often, I was ready to experience the full-blown Mobtown Moon live event.

On Saturday evening, September 28th, a few hundred Baltimoreans had the opportunity to see all the passion and hard work that went into the album performed live at Goucher College. Created, organized, recorded and produced in Baltimore by local Baltimore musicians, Mobtown Moon is a sprawling work that only was enhanced by its live presentation. The plush textures of the LP poured onto the overcrowded Kraushaar Auditorium stage with a full band that featured brass, strings, a choir and more. Performing the album in its entirety, the band pulled out all the stops – giving us a taste of jazz, folk, bluegrass, rock, soul, funk and spoken-word.

What’s next you ask? Well, hopefully for our sake, more Mobtown Moon live and more Sandy and ellen collaborations. Hey guys, I bet “With a Little Help From My Friends” off of Sgt. Pepper would sound great with a brass band and a soulful jazz singer, don’t you? Just a little food for thought…

-TD

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