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An Interview With
Moses Mo Of Mothers Finest


By Ron Holland
The Georgia Music Channel
                                                                                                                      
  Mothers    Finest,    from     Atlanta,
  has been rockin' fans since the early
  1970's and  were  inducted  into  the
  Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2011.
  Formed by Joyce Kennedy and Glen
  Murdock, the band   has  stuck   to-
  gether stuck together  for  over four
  decades performing, not only  in the
  United States,  but   internationally.
  They recently returned to the  states
  from their tour  in Europe  and  have
  more dates scheduled in the USA.
 
  Their style of music is  considerered
  funk  rock,  but  is  better  described
Photo Courtesy Allen Ross Thomas / http://www.artistxposure.com

as just  plain "butt  kickin"  good.  Rock with a  little  soul  topped   off  with  loads  of  high  energy.
Before  they  go  back  to, Europe you'll want to catch them  at one of their  performances.  To check
their schedule go to  Mothers Finest Tour Dates.

Moses  Mo, the  lead  guitarist,  is  one of the original members.  His  performance is nothing  short
of awesome.  Just like the entire band, Mo puts on a show for the fans so entertaining that  if  you're
sitting still when he's rockin'  out  on  stage - well  you  must  be dead.  Mo takes care of business on
lead guitar  and leaves nothing on the table  when   he's   done.   He's   certainly   one   of   the   great
guitarists.
  

RON :  We're here with James Gary  “Moses  Mo” Moore, original  member &  lead  guitarist for
           Mothers  Finest and still kicking some s-e-e-rious butt on stage. Hi Mo. Thanks for being
           with us. It’s great to be chatting with you.

 
MO :    Nice to be here, Ron, thanks for the support and appreciate the opportunity!



RON :  After 40 years, Mother's Finest continues to  pack  venues  around  the  world.   One thing
          that stands out with everyone is the energy and  enthusiasm  that  the  band has  with
          every  show.  That's a cool testament to how much ya'll love what you're doing and how
          dedicated you are  to the fans to always give them an awesome show.


MO :    We do love what we do and the fans give it right back.  To me playing live is the  one
           place  you  get an instant payoff.  There’s a connection between us and our  fans,  a
           hunger,  it’s  a  lot  like sex, the more you get the more you want.  We’ve always been a
           live band first, so  the  stage  is like food to us and we come as hungry as our fans are!



RON :  Who were the original members of Mothers Finest and when did the band form?

MO :    The core of the group, as far as original goes, formed  as  far  back  as  1970.   Joyce and
           Glenn were already working professionally as a duet when I met them, we wanted to form
           a group that just “Rocked”, no rules, I followed them as the guitar player to Miami, FL
           where we met  Wyzard (Jerry Seay) who became our bass guitar  player thru his  brother
           and  what  followed  became history.  When we headed to Atlanta, GA, there were
           different members in  the  group  than  the  ones that became known with the group’s
           success.  Members came and  went  but  the  4  of  us continued working together as
           Mothers Finest.



RON :  Now, obviously you're still a member, then there's Joyce "Baby Jean" Kennedy..there's Glen
           "Doc" Murdock..Jerry "Wyzard" Seay.  Who are the other current members?


MO :    Dion Murdock (Drums/percussion/programming) has been with us off and on since he
           could hold sticks in his hands and John Hayes is the “New” kid on guitar for the last  20 or
           so  years.   Both became members of Mothers Finest, a version formed in the 90s, and
           recorded an  album  called “Black Radio Won’t Play This”, which was extremely successful
           in Europe.



RON :  The majority of the original members are still with the band. Sticking together all these
           years is awesome, but unusual for the music industry. What's been the magic to that?


MO :    Just Karma I guess, it is unusual but  over  time  you  build  relationships  outside  of
           work,  we became a band of brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, friends  and
           lovers,  we  fight,  we make up, we’ve always supported one another, basically, we still
           feel it, we still want it,  we  still need it!


 

RON :  I can remember when y’all played at Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom in Atlanta. That  was
           a  long time ago....what year was that when Tom Werman,  producer  with Epic Records,
           saw the  band there and landed a record deal for the band. Talk about that and the results
           of signing with Epic.


MO :    Yeah, that was a long time ago but it still feels like yesterday, don’t know  where  the
           time  goes and it’s even harder to remember specifics but that was a great  time.  Our
           management  at  the time was key in pulling all that together, I remember Tom coming
           to check us out and  having  a great big smile, we loved Tom, it was cool working with
           him.  He did a great  job  of  getting  the  MF sound on tape and we had  a  lot of  fun
           doing  it.   He  was  a  pretty  patient  guy  and  we wanted to try everything, it was  an
           extremely  creative  progress,  we   were  both  just  getting  started and in 1976, the
           music scene did not have a band like us and  Epic  Records  was  just  a little bit nervous
           about how to promote such a group.  It felt like, to me, Tom joined right in with our fight
           to show people what we did was a good idea!



RON : Tom produced a couple of albums for Mothers Finest. Which ones did he produce?

MO :   He did “Another Mother Further” and the "Mothers Finest LIVE" records.



RON :  His style with record production was believed by critics, back then, to be refined and
           controlling. Did the band give him the final production mix freedom on these albums or
           did  Mothers Finest control the final editing?


MO :    Tom did a great job of taking what we played and not screwing with  it too  much.   We
           were  all involved with the mixing and editing.  What makes Tom a great producer is that
           he  knows  when to hold and when  to  fold  while  working  in  the  studio.   As  artists,
           our  creativity  knows  no boundaries, that’s where the chaos begins, Tom might be refined
           and controlling but that was his  job, to produce product from the chaos and that becomes
           an art in itself.  If it wasn’t  happening,  he would step in but when the play button was hit,
           we mostly had a party!



RON :  I understand he  commented,  just a  few  months  ago,  that  Mothers  Finest  was  one
          of  the strongest bands that  he'd  ever  worked  with –  saying  that  the  band's
          musicianship,  songs,  originality and live presentation were so  impressive and  the  album
          "Another  Mother  Further" was in the personal top five of his career.

MO :    Well, I see he still has good taste, we love you, too, Tom!



RON :  Mother's Finest has three gold albums - "Another Mother Further, "Mother Factor" and
          "Mothers Finest Live."  Out of those three albums what's your favorite song to perform and
          why?


MO :    I like them all but if I had to choose, probably  Mickey’s Monkey.  It’s  so  much fun  the
          places  where we take it live.  Each night the song takes on a personality of it’s own,
          always a surprise.




RON :  One of the things that stands out with everyone is how energetic  and  electrifying  your
          performances  are .  That's  a  cool  testament  to  how  much  the  band  loves  what  its
          doing and your dedication to the fans to always give them a great show.  You really set
          the stage  on fire.


MO :    Thank you very much, it is what we live for.  All day long it’s about  everything  but  the
           music, you’ve got so much stored energy, just waiting for it, it just explodes when you hit
           the stage, or that’s what you’re hoping for!  The fans never let us down and their excite-
           ment  just  fuels  the fire!  I love watching Joyce sing her heart out and the others getting
           their groove on.



RON :  Mothers Finest is known internationally, not just in the  United States.  You've  toured  in
          Europe and other countries.  In fact, you were at the Berlin Wall just before it was torn
          down.  What are  some memorable moments from performing  overseas - outside of that
          one?


MO :    We’ve been performing overseas for a very long time now and it’s  like our  second  home,
           we’ve  made friends and they’ve become like family.  Our audiences always show us so
           much love,  each one seems to make their own memories, the perf ormances are the
           memorable moments for me.  Pretty much everything else is sort of a pain, usually, not
           much time for anything, except on days off.  Visiting the Berlin Wall was something we
           decided to do on a day  off,  who  knew,  the next week they would be tearing it down.
           This past summer we happened to be in Holland on Father’s Day and did the Traditional
           Pancake and Beer Breakfast for Dads on  a  Riverboat,  everyone was singing, eating
           pancakes, and drinking beer as we took a boat ride down the river.  It  was crazy!



RON :  Mothers Finest has played and toured with so many groups like Aerosmith, The Who,
           Santana...too many to name. Out of all the artists that you've been on stage with, who's
           been one of your major influences and why?


MO :    Well, for me, it would have to be Sly Stone, we didn’t tour with him but did a  few
           concerts  with him in the southeast and that was after Woodstock, we must have watched
           the  film  version  of Woodstock 200 times, and it just got better and better.  Sharing the
           stage  with  his  group  and getting to watch him perform up close and personal was a
           huge influence.  It was major!



RON :  Fast forwarding now......  recently Mothers  Finest was inducted into  the  Georgia  Music
          Hall  of Fame.  It was great to see the band recognized for  the  significant  contributions
          that  everyone has made  over the years.  What impact did that have on the band?


MO :    It was an honor and a blessing to have been placed amongst some of the finest talent
           ever, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight, James Brown, The Allman Brothers, REM,  The Black
           Crowes,  an  overwhelming list of artists.  We are so lucky to have  folks  that  dig  the
           music  of  Mothers  Finest enough to want to remember it.  We’ve always worked at being
           as  good as  anybody  else  and better. We were pleasantly surprised at just the thought
           of it and humbled beyond  belief  when we were told of the induction.  It was a huge
           event.  We consider this award to  be  bigger  than any other we could possibly receive
           because  it  was  from  the  hear  of  where  Mothers  Finest started. This award will
           always mean the most to us.  We are glad that the work  we  have  done was considered
           significant but we don’t look at the award as the end result of a  long  career but as a
           beginning,  we believe that the best thing we’ve ever written is in the future.



RON :  So, what's going on today and what's the band's current plans? Any projects in the works,
           individually or for the band?

MO :    We are writing for a new Mothers  Finest  album,  it’s  our  main  focus.  We  recently
           released  a “Live” performance compilation CD  called  MF4D, we  chose  11  songs  we
           had  performed  and recorded with various members over our career, most of which had
           never  been  released  in  the USA  and added a bonus studio track of Funkawhile.  We
           tried to bridge the earlier  MF  with  the present  day MF.  It is so cool that my big toe
           shoots up in my boot whenever I  play  it!   It  may be  my  new favorite CD!  It’s available
           on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.  I am also finishing  up my  second solo project and
           hope to have both available by the first part of the year  (2013).  We have so many
           projects we want to complete, just a matter of time and money.  There’s  a  whole
           lot more  to  MF, DVDs, Holiday CDs, books, additional merchandise besides the usual
           swag,  solo projects  from  all members, we are working independently of major record
           labels,  management, and performance agencies.  It’s no secret that we have lot been on
           a major label in the USA since 1992.  We continue to record and release music in Europe.
           Our fan base and our earlier  catalogs of  music have kept our careers alive.  For that I will
           be forever grateful.  Living here in   Georgia, working as an independent  has  been  a
           learning  experience, one  every  artist  should  be  well educated  in, but there’s no
           stopping the train if you’re the conductor!



RON :  Yea, the CD MF4D is a great compilation - love the arrangement of Baby Love. Best wishes
           on the new album and your solo projects.  I can't wait to hear them and I'm sure the  fans
           are excited about the news.  While I’m thinking about it, my wife still has a Mothers Finest
           t-shirt that she bought 30 years ago at a show when ya’ll were performing at Alex Cooley’s
           Electric Ballroom (or it may have been the Agora Ballroom  then).   All Mothers Finest
           merchandise was cool stuff  back  then, especially the logo, and still is today.

MO :    That’s cool!  The logo is something Murdock came up  with,  you  know  he  used to work
           as  a graphic artist for an ad agency.  We always wanted to be known as  MF ‘ers in  the
           bizness,  and the shield just made the MF jump out, we found you could do  a  lot  of
           things  with  it.  Mothers Finest made it ok to say MF in public in a positive way.  I’d love to
           have a picture of that shirt and tell your wife, we’ll send her a current one as a  back  up!
           Guess we could send you one too because you know her!



RON :  I'll be sure to tell her and we certainly appreciate the tees.  Mo, you’re an outstanding
          musician, an awesome guitarist and Mothers Finest is one fine band.  Congratulations to
          you and the band on its induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame –  so deserving.
          Thank you so much for spending  time  with  me  today -  and  thank  you  for  the
          contributions that you and the band have made to Georgia music history.


MO :    Thank you very much for this opportunity.   Thank you for your support and for
           supporting  the fantastic musical talent from our state of Georgia.  On behalf of everyone
           else, I thank you  and truly appreciate your compliments.  There is no other to compare to
           you!


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Mothers Finest Induction Into
The Georgia Music Hall of Fame (2011)




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