A reunion show at the Swiss will bring two legendary bands of separate decades together on the same stage. Jerry Miller of the 60s band Moby Grape will perform in cahoots with Jim Basnight of the 80s punk pop group the Moberlys. The show is dubbed “Moberly Grape,” and it takes place July 27 at 9 p.m.
The idea for the show title comes from David Fricke’s 1983 “Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records.” In the book, Fricke said of the Moberly’s self-titled, full length album that “the right producer could have made them a real Moberly Grape.”
Fricke went on to become senior editor of Rolling Stone magazine.
It was Tacoma drummer Glenn Hummel, who currently plays in both the Jim Basnight Band and the Jerry Miller Band, that brought the two musicians together for this show.
Basnight’s bassist Kurt Jensen and Miller’s bass man Kim Workman will take turns as Basnight and Miller will wind through Moberlys and Moby Grape tunes together, some blues and early rock they both love and then open and close the show with separate sets from their respective bands.
Basnight (jimbasnightmusic.com) currently performs with his four-piece band and solo, or duo with multi-instrumentalist Mikel Rollins (sax/flute/harmonica/percussion) all around the country.
Basnight has been performing between 150-200 dates per year since 1997. Prior to that he fronted and composed with the Meyce (1975-77), the Moberlys (1978-89), various bands and recording projects (1989-93) and the Rockinghams (1993-97).
Basnight has released seven full- length unique CDs, primarily comprised of his compositions (go to jimbasnightmusic.com for more info) and is currently working on a new album for release in summer 2018.
Basnight has composed music for films, TV and the acclaimed “Little Rock,” a full-scale rock musical production (originally produced in Seattle, with productions in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Little Rock, Ark. among others), based on the integration of Little Rock Central High in 1957-58.
Basnight has been hard at work since 2011 co-researching a biography and co-producing a documentary film, tribute show, museum exhibit and screen play, all based on the life story and musical legacy of blues master “Sonny Boy” Williamson (Alex “Rice” Miller 1913-65). Subjects interviewed for that project include Buddy Guy, BB King, Robert Plant, Marshall Chess and Charlie Musselwhite. His music spans blues, country, soul, punk, pop, folk and all styles of rock and roll.
Moby Grape is a rock group from the 1960s, known for having all five members contribute to singing and songwriting, which collectively merged elements of folk music, blues, country, and jazz with rock and psychedelic music. They were one of the few groups of which all members were lead vocalists.
Miller, the band’s guitar wizard, was one of the founding members of Moby Grape. He just celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this month. He is a songwriter and vocalist as well as an instrumentalist. Miller performs as a solo artist and as a member of the Jerry Miller Band. Rolling Stone named Miller number 68 of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time and Moby Grape’s album ‘Moby Grape’ was ranked 124th of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
For more on the Mobery Grape show at the Swiss, visit www.facebook.com/events/251198245476076.