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Stan Mosley

Soul singer extraordinaire Stan Mosley is a contender for the Soul-Blues throne vacated by Johnnie Taylor. After releasing three knockout discs on Malaco Records, and one for Mardi Gras, Mosley is set to make his mark with a new album called "Steppin' Out", which was produced by Earl Powell of Entune Recording.

Mosley began singing in 1969 and joined the Sharpees in 1974. The band ended up backing the diva Shirley Brown and Stan sometimes sang backup. From there he began gigging around Chicago off and on for years but had yet to be signed let alone release a record. "At some point in time," Mosley recalls, "I have either opened for or performed in the same venue as just about every major soul or blues act in the business." His acclaim grew and, for two years running, he captured the important Chicago Music Award (in 1982 and 1983) for Best Male R & B Vocalist.

By 1986 Mosley was fed up with the music business and joined a music ministry known as 'The Company' in Chicago. But he came back in 1992 and returned to East St. Louis to team up with Gus Thornton to write several songs, which were released on his own Stand Up label as the LP "Standing Tall". "They're very good songs, but unfortunately I had no distribution," he said. Butler Records re-released his album in 1995. He was also touring as the opening act for Cicero Blake, while also serving as Blake's driver and valet. In 1997, he found Malaco Records. Composer William Payton, who had co-penned Tyrone Davis' 1997 hit single "Freak" on Malaco, introduced him to Tommy Couch Sr. for a fifteen minute meeting. Tommy agreed to hear Stan's demo tape "and fifteen minutes ended up being hours-and Mr. Couch signed me to his label!". Ace producers like Charles "Rich" Cason, Couch, Floyd Hamberlin & Wolf Stephenson helped craft three strong albums for the label that should've catapulted Stan to Soul Brother #1 in the Southern Soul/Soul Blues world. The records did well but Mosley left the label disenchanted.

Mosley headed to Mardis Gras Records for a one-off project before finding himself on the independent level. In late 2005 he sent out promos for his "upcoming" CD "Steppin' Out" and response was enthusiastic. Unfortunately, release of the CD was delayed and it wasn't until now, January 2007, that the album officially sees the light of day.


The interview:

BC = Blues Critic

Stan = Stan Mosley

BC: Well it's finally here! "Steppin' Out" is getting an official release! Give us an update on what's been going on this past year...

Stan: During the past year I've been blessed to have been on shows with The Chi-Lites, Midnight Star, Benny Lattimore, Denise Lasalle, B.B. King, Otis Clay, The Temptations, and the tour I'm most proud of has been Nellie (Tiger) Travis, Jo Jo Murray, Sydney Jo Quralls, Mr Lee and myself along with The Top Flight Band, also there are just too many artist to name. I've worked Mississippi, Alabama, Michigan, Indiana, Tenn, some clubs some arenas, I've pretty much been under the radar so to speak, but we plan to pick up strongly this upcoming year as we have a marketing plan that will enable us to achieve our goals.

BC: Many of the songs from the record have been extremely well received by radio over the past year. Were there a lot of people who were frustrated they couldn't buy this music?

Stan: Yes people were disappointed that it wasn't available other than when I was performing somewhere which certainly didn't cover a lot of areas, hopefully now that things are in place and I'm on the right track we'll cover a tremendous amount of ground. I've got a great support group that has embraced me in The Chi-Lites and some others that I can't reveal at the moment, but continue to be patient, the wait will be well worth it.

BC: I want to talk more about your great new CD "Steppin' Out", but first I want to lay some ground. When did you first sing in front of an audience?

SM: It was the year 1969, I actually thought I was a pro, but I wasn't, I had done a few talent shows around Chicago and got a little attention. My roots are in gospel. From way back as a child Billy Preston played at my church. You know, the "fifth Beatle" (laughs)

BC: Can you remember your first favorite song, or artist that influenced you?

SM: Wilson Pickett's "don't let the green grass fool you"

BC: Not surprising since vocally you resemble Wicked Pickett. You nailed "Don't Knock My Love" from "Soul Singer". You also evoke comparisons with Bobby Womack. How do you feel when people compare you to Pickett or a Bobby Womack?

SM: I love it. Bobby Womack's my hero. I don't mind it all. They were influential.

BC: Bobby hasn't done much lately and by the sound of your new record you may be taking his place!

SM: (laughs). Thanks. But, naw, you can't take anything away from the legend. I'm just trying to be Stan Mosley, ya know? Get in where you fit in.

BC: What was the first thing released under the name 'Stan Mosley'?

SM: My first record was "Standing Tall" on my own label Stand Up Records. That was in 1995. It was a really good record. I ended up giving it to James Butler who re-released it on Butler Records. It got a little attention. A turntable hit, ya know?

BC: You were then signed by Malaco? What was the road like to get there?

SM: I got lucky with the opportunity to sign with Malaco. It wasn't a good experience in terms of getting work or having my music promoted, Tommy Couch Jr and I didn't see eye to eye on anything. I didn't want to be there. If you listen to the music that was recorded at Malaco you'll see that it was just as good if not better than the other things that were promoted, unfortunately for me I had no support at all, but I have no regrets about the experience.

BC: Those three records you did ("Soul Singer", "Souled Out" & "Do Right") are all terrific in my estimation. The production was immaculate. What was it like working with Frederick Knight on "Souled Out"?

SM: Fantastic. He did "Anybody Seen My Boo", "I Just Want To Thank You" and "I'm Not The Man I Used To Be". Rich Cason too- he's one of the greatest producers I've worked with

BC: Like me are you surprised those records weren't bigger hits? I think "You Bring Out The Dog In Me" from "Do Right" was a monster jam.

SM: You know I didn't really like that song. I just didn't care for my vocals. I think I could've did it better but everything's rush rush rush with Malaco- get it out there quick. I felt like they didn't want me to succeed.  Let me tell you a little story. You remember "Sugar Daddy"?

BC: By Tyrone Davis?

SM: Yep. I originally recorded that song and it was better than Tyrone's. Nothing against Tyrone. He was actually sick when he cut it. They removed my vocals and had Tyrone sing over it. They said they'd make more money with Tyrone.

BC: So your version is still in the can?

SM: Oh, sure it is. They got a whole bunch in the can. My best Malaco stuff hasn't even been released.

BC: How did you end up on Mardi Gras?

SM: I had to get out of that contract with Malaco. I had enough. My manager got me an unconditional release and Floyd Hamberlin and I finished "Good Stuff". But you know what- the music that was released wasn't as good as the original album.

BC: What happened?

SM: I signed with them but being at Mardi Gras was almost a ghost type situation. I never met Warren Hildebrand (Mardi Gras) owner. To this date I don't even know what he looks like. Senator Jones wanted me to come up to his house in Bolton, Mississippi to redo it because he wanted to be listed as producer. Why? He wanted money of course.

BC: You weren't happy with "Good Stuff"?

Stan: It sucked. Senator Jones ruined it. I'd like to someday release the original version I did with Floyd. Senator replaced my backing vocals and the album stunk up the place. "Good Stuff", "Rockin' Slide" and "Til The Cops Come Knockin'" did pretty good, though

BC: You've been through a lot in this business. What advice would you give a newbie trying to break in?

Stan: Know who and what you are, working on and at your craft, being prepared when opportunity presents itself.

BC: I noticed on the new "Steppin' Out" you had a lot to do with writing the songs this time?

SM: Yeah, I wrote everything but the gospel track, "God Is Alive", "Dance Floor" and "You're Gonna Make Me Cheat".

BC: The disc has got serious hit potential. In my review I said they're "smooth like 50-year-old scotch". But, is it hard to get music out there without a big label?

SM: Its a little more difficult to do things on an independent level but its gratifying to know that for those that want to hear my music they still can, and I still work frequently. The stuff on Malaco is really good but I think this is my best work. I'm really excited about this album.

BC: "Let's Fall In Love Again", 'God Is Alive" and "I Want You" caught my attention.  What songs mean the most to you as a person on "Steppin Out"?

SM: All of them mean a lot, however being a person of faith "God Is Alive" has a more profound impact on and in my life. But we are sending out the whole album to radio. So people can play whatever they like. People like different things. I just want them to play it.

BC: I think "God Is Alive" is simply stunning. Are you a religious man? What are your views on the whole "Intelligent Design" vs. "evolution" debate?

Stan: No I'm not "religious", I'm a Christian, that should answer both questions!

BC: Obviously as a singer I think you're head and shoulders above most out there but haven't gotten your props, so how do you feel about the state of soul music in general today? How about "Southern Soul"?

SM: The state of soul music today is sad because radio isn't as supportive of such a rich and incredible tradition, there are some wonderful artists out there. The term "Southern Soul" is something I can't understand. We don't get airplay except in the south. The song takes off in the nightclubs. But "Southern Soul" or whatever label people put on it- it's all the same. Soul music. There's really only two types of music- good and bad (laughs).

BC: What are the promotional plans for "Steppin Out"?

Stan: Team Airplay- Mike Austin, that says it all!

BC: I understand you also have your own nightclub?

Stan: That's right. "The New Club Paradise" at 4300 West Chermack in Chicago, Il. We've had a lot of great acts play there. Theodis Ealey, Otis Clay, Cicero Blake. It's doing really good.

BC: What have been some of your happiest moments in life?

Stan: My relationship with My Creator, sharing the gift He's given me, being able to survive even while being attacked, being at peace with who I am.

BC: As an artist what do you most want to convey to your audience?

Stan: Camaraderie, Warmth, Excitement, Pleasure, Satisfaction, Sincerity.

BC: What are some of your pet peaves?

Stan: Deceitfulness!

BC: I understand you're already working on the followup to this CD? Can you give us a few teasers on what to expect?

Stan: Lets just say that you haven't seen nor heard the best of Stan Mosley, get ready world "Ain't No Stoppin Now" thought I'd borrow that line from McFadden & Whitehead, its very relevant in my life.

stanmosleypromo1.jpg 

STAN MOSLEY DISCOGRAPHY HERE


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(C) 2018. All written material found on this website is the property of Blues Critic and may only be used with permission and full accreditation (either "Blues Critic" or "Dylann DeAnna of Blues Critic") and link to this website.

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