Saturday, October 21, 2023

Moe Joe

Moe Joe, now respectively known as “the ever first electric blues band in Turkey” was founded by Feramerz Ayadi, İzi Ergil and Vefa Karatay in 1994, in Istanbul. Instead of other contemporary blues rock bands which were keen to cover the scholastic repertoire of 60’s and 70’s alumnis, Moe Joe chose a different path to follow by putting an emphasize on covering the milestones of post-war Chicago blues repertoire thus, choosing to struggle hard on the club scene for finding a venue in late 90’s. Hence, in time, the venues hosting the performances of the band in various cities in Turkey became a shelter for local purist audiences.

In 1996, Sarp Keskiner (vocal, guitar, harmonica) and İlhan Babaoğlu (alto and soprano saxophone) joined the band; both were until then well – known members of phenomenal Istanbul Blues Company. Under guidance of Keskiner and Ayadi, Moe Joe centered upon Chicago Southside & Westside standards, spicy Detroit style boogies, early Texas shuffles and dark Louisiana grooves.

Between 1998 and 2001, the band set the heights for the musical quality of this genre on the national scene by adding harmonica virtuoso – flautist Tuğrul Aray to its line-up and back from NYC, enter Ergin Özler to take over the drum stool aiming at to bring the swinging authenticity to the sextet.

After releasing the “all originals” debut album, “Chicago Istanbul Mainline” in 2000, Moe Joe received rave reviews from national and international music media; having been interviewed and guested on various magazines, web sites, radio and TV channels.

From 2001 Caribbean, Brazilian and Afro - Cuban beats into their well-established sound, while stabilizing the line up as a quintet; with addition of Özün Usta (conga, djembe, cajon). Within this context, live recordings compiled in this album which were recorded in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir direct to DAT tapes feature the diversity of a veteran Turkish blues band, which is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary of foundation in 2024.

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