A little less than a year ago, a friend of mine plopped a CD on my lap and said "You must hear this band." I was skeptical, because at the time our musical tastes did anything but mesh. However, I decided to take a listen. The band was Moxy Fruvous, and the album was You Will Go To The Moon. A year later, it ranks alongside Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms and Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints as one of my favorite albums of all time.
Moxy Fruvous is comprised of Dave Matheson, Murray Foster, Mike Ford and Jian Ghomeshi, four high school pals from Toronto who formed in 1990 and performed tirelessly, whether it be at weddings or on a street corner, to get their name known. Their songwriting is eclectic and inventive, their sound unique -- melding a cappella with a standard rhythm section and the occasional flute, accordion, violin, or banjo.
Eventually they got some air time on CBC radio and cut their first album, Bargainville, in 1994. After that, they recorded three more albums, Wood and the 'b' album (both released only in Canada) and You Will Go To The Moon released Stateside in '97. Talented boys with nowhere to go but up, right?
Unfortunately, after four years of hard work Moxy Fruvous still has yet to break through. Their latest album, Live Noise, is a selection of some of the band's favorites, performed in a handful of cities on the east coast, where the band has developed a small but enthusiastic following.
I wish I could tell you what's so good about this band, but it's hard, because their music is almost impossible to categorize. They have been dismissed by some as a novelty band but I sincerely believe that there is much more to them than just a few chuckles. A lot of their music is funny, yes, but their serious stuff is honest and real, with the bulk of their music inspired by their sharpened political and social viewpoints.
If I could have my way, I'd make you listen to all their stuff, but since that could be dangerous, I will first recommend listening to Live Noise, just to get a small dose of the band and the wonderful music they have to offer.