As the guitarist for the definitive Australian pub rock band, Cold Chisel, Ian Moss is an Australian icon. He’s also one of their better kept secrets. During Cold Chisel’s long hiatus (1983-1998) Moss recorded and released a small handful of solo albums.
Six Strings is probably the closest Moss has come to a greatest hits package. This live acoustic set shows Moss performing acoustic arrangements of some of his better known songs both as a solo artist and as a member of Cold Chisel.
In the early volatile years of Cold Chisel that saw Jimmy Barnes frequently quitting and rejoining the band Moss was frequently called upon to step up and sing lead for Cold Chisel. This gave Moss some good practice as a vocalist. While not in the same league as Barnes, his smoother vocals gave Cold Chisel a different weapon in their musical arsenal. Even after Barnes would return to the band, Moss would sometimes continue contributing lead vocals. With some of those songs like Saturday Night and Bow River that were included in this collection the acoustic arrangements while enjoyable lack the swagger of the Cold Chisel versions. It’s the lack of Barnes raspy growl on the background vocals that takes some of the steam out of the acoustic versions. However the acoustic arrangements of The Party’s Over, Never Before and My Baby give the songs a new life. The Cold Chisel versions sound considerably dated compared to Moss’s acoustic updates.
The acoustic arrangements of Moss’s solo back catalog are thoroughly enjoyable. Tucker’s Daughter, Two Seconds Too Long, and Angel Eyes are all excellent arrangements. Moss provides brief introductions to many songs indicating who wrote them. Many were long time Cold Chisel bass player, Phil Smalls, compositions as Moss has recorded many of Smalls works both as a member of Cold Chisel and as a solo artist.
The applause throughout is light. It gives the performance a very relaxed and intimate small coffee house feel. As far as live albums go, this one is a gem to be listened to on a pair of high end headphones with the lights turned low.
Tucker's Daughter (live)
Bow River (live)
Saturday Night (live)
Ian Moss (official site)
Ian Moss (wikipedia)