Every artist starts out with heroes. But not every artist gets asked by their heroes to join them, as artists, on their stage. It’s a compliment that Jacob Moon keeps getting from the musicians who have inspired him since he started as a singer-songwriter out in Hamilton, Ontario. Artists like Rush, Marillion, and Gordon Lightfoot have taken a shine to Moon’s renditions of their songs and have lavished him praise and a spotlight that has gained him international attention. It is these inventive covers that draw the fans in, but it’s Moon’s original material and his compelling live show that makes them pull up a chair.
Ron Sexsmith has said: “Jacob Moon is an exceedingly gifted and watchable performer….seems completely at home on stage” and Danny Miranda (bassist for Queen) concurs “Tremendous command of the instrument…amazing voice. I can honestly say that I am overwhelmed by his music”.
Jacob Moon is known for his giftedness as a singer, songwriter of award-winning pop and folk songs. He is also a master of the art of ‘live looping’, a performance style where he records what he’s playing in real time and layers sound on sound to make one guitar sound like an orchestra.
Jacob Moon considers himself first and foremost to be a singer-songwriter. The songs he has written have gone on to win awards in International Song Competitions (Unisong, Great Lakes Song Contest, West Coast Songwriters, GMA Canada). His songwriting heroes include Jackson Browne, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Peter Gabriel, and Ron Sexsmith, and Moon’s timeless and eclectic style can be compared to those artists, among others. Likewise, his music is hard to pigeonhole, and Moon is okay with that. “My music is borne from all the listening I’ve done over the years, and I listen to a lot of different music. In a way, it makes sense that what comes out would be a mash-up of all those different influences, and tough to pin a style on”, Moon says.
Though not exactly born with a guitar in his hands, Moon’s own father had a 12-string Gibson that made an impression early on. “It just had this huge sound– it sounded like an orchestra to me”, Moon says. That would prove instructive as he approached learning the acoustic guitar in his early teens. “My musical influences at that time were bands like Yes, Rush and Marillion, so I was trying to figure out how to make the guitar sound as big as I knew it could sound from hearing those guys”.
IN THE LOOP:
Once Moon had completed his musical training at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON, he began recording and trying to find as many gigs as he could to stay alive. Realizing that he needed something that would set him apart from other performers, Moon began experimenting with ‘live looping’ technology–a foot-pedal that triggers the instantaneous recording of his guitar while he’s playing live. This gave Moon a whole new palette to paint with musically, and he has gone on to be one of the leading Loopers on the scene.
His popular live-looping music videos on YouTube recently gained attention on a national level, when rock legends Rush asked Moon to perform at the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala. Geddy, Neil, and Alex insisted that Moon to be there to play ‘Subdivisions’, which he performed on a Hamilton rooftop in his 2008 video (now at over 400, 000 hits). His performance was immediately followed by a standing ovation from his heroes, and that one night has led to some exciting new touring opportunities.
Rush drummer Neil Peart had this to say about Jacob: “We all shared Jacob Moon’s performance of Subdivisions quite a long time ago and sent it to each other, ‘Hey have you seen this?’ because it’s such a beautiful cover. The imaginative way that he uses the little cassette player to get my voice in there. It’s superb. And it is that kind of song. It’s a singer-songwriter’s song. I loved to see his version of it and I loved the idea that song has endured to his generation.”
The Commissionaires are a new soul-roots-gospel outfit formed by indie singer-songwriter Jacob Moon and Newworldson’s Joel Parisien. Their debut record, entitled Shelter Me (Dec ’16), is an 8-song sonic journey with themes of justice and overtones of the soul’s struggle for redemption. Crafted as a remedy for these turbulent times, Shelter Me features a combination of traditional gospel numbers and new arrangements of songs written by artists like Ben Harper,
Stevie Wonder and Buddy Miller. ‘None of Us Are Free’ was featured in December 2016 by CBC Radio One as Song of the Week.
Order the new CD now at www.jacobmoon.com/music
or at www.thecommissionaires.band