The story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all. ~Frederick Buechner

Interview with Ami Moss

Ami Moss & The Unfortunate

Ami Moss and most of the Unfortunate live and serve at Jesus People USA. They are playing a free show at Wilson Abbey this Saturday.

How would you describe your sound?

We’ve been compared to Adele and Amy Winehouse. My voice is smoky—I think it’s the asthma—certainly not years of cigarettes and alcohol. Nina Simone and Billie Holiday are my number one influences. As a band—we’re a little hard to label. We have quite a few sounds. A fusion of jazz, soul, pop, and folk.

There’s Brach Siemens on lead guitar, Ed Bialach on drums, Joby Morey on keyboards and upright bass, and Mike Choby on electric bass and keys—everything piano, organ, you name it.

Where do you get your inspiration for your lyrics?

Definitely from real life, personal experiences. I would have to say most of what I write is relationship-based. Either my story or someone else’s. Then there are the love songs for my husband. I write about things I am moved by—

Such as?

I have a murder ballad titled “Beloved.” I want my audience to be moved by some of the stuff that moves me such as domestic abuse, addictions, immigration laws, love, and rejection. I grew up reading Flannery O’Connor and she has something along this line: All good art leaves room for mystery. I’d like to leave the listener/audience with more questions than when they started.

So how are things going?

We just played Chicago’s Independent Songwriter Festival in Wicker Park and we’ll be at the Mile of Music Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin, August 7–11. Cory Chisel is the founder and hugely involved with the festival. Corey has brought us up to open for him and the band a couple of times. On our new album, due out soon, he and I sing a duet together.

What’s next?

Hopefully our new CD—All These Pieces—on Archive Records. So I guess a release party. [laughs] We all have families so we’re pretty busy, but a big goal is to create great music. We have the new album about to come out and I’m already working on our next project—a Motown sound with lyrics that run deep. We’re also going for new management—so that’s exciting.

Want to hear them? Click here. Ami Moss and The Unfortunate will be playing Wilson Abbey, 935 W. Wilson, Chicago, Saturday, July 19th. Doors open at 6:30 and show starts at 7 p.m. The concert is FREE. Go here for more info on parking.

Jane Hertenstein
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