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Nick Moss and the Flip Tops

Despite its disparate origins, from Mississippi to Memphis to Chicago, the blues has always boasted a common thread in its evocative expression and soulful execution. That's something Nick Moss understands as much as most. Although he hails from a younger generation of blues devotees, he apprenticed with the best — Jimmy Dawkins, Willie Smith, and Jimmy Rogers, among them — and observed their teachings firsthand. From a young age he hung out at the blues haunts of his native Chi-town while watching the masters demonstrate their craft, even sneaking in when he was too young for lawful entry.

Earning his way into their inner sanctum, Moss honed his skills in backing bands until he had gained his degree as a guitarist extraordinaire. Eventually he earned the respect of his mentors and the allegiance of a talented band of collaborators he teasingly dubbed the Flip Tops. Since the start of the previous decade, Moss and company have become the foremost practitioners of Chicago blues, adapting its edgy, rough-and-tumble sound with their own contemporary interpretations. The band has released half a dozen albums showcasing their adept execution, culminating in Play It 'Til Tomorrow, an expansive two-disc set showcasing various styles of the band's repertoire, both blazing and restrained.

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Lee Zimmerman

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