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Ian Moss’ ‘Rivers tour’ flows into Newy

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One of the most distinctive voices on the Australian music scene, Ian Moss, will be heard loud and clear in Newcastle in the new year.

The legendry guitarist and driving force behind Cold Chisel is set to entertain his Hunter fans via two shows at Lizotte’s on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 May.

It’ll come off the back of his latest record, Rivers Run Dry – Deluxe Edition Album.

The offering contains six never-before-released “live” tracks recorded at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre in August 2023.

Bonus tracks include Rivers Run Dry, I Miss You In The Night, Open Your Eyes, The Wish, the radio smash Nullarbor Plain, plus the first-ever, spellbinding recording of the classic Georgia on My Mind

Cold Chisel’s legendary guitarist Ian Moss. Photo: Brian Hambling

Respected as an icon in the industry, Moss delivers an unforgettable sound – not only as a telling soloist on guitar but especially with his silken voice, ringing with clarity and resonating with pure soul.

While primarily recognised as an axeman of unusual tenacity, his unique vocal is the essential signature of his soulful, bluesy muse – as it has been since his first tentative foray into music during the early 1970s.

Born and raised in Alice Springs, Moss began playing guitar in local teenage bands but moved to Adelaide after failing one of his high school years, planning to repeat in the big city.

Fate intervened when he answered an advertisement in a shop window in 1973, joining the band that was to become a legend in Australia – Cold Chisel.

After he joined organist and principal songwriter Don Walker and drummer Steve Prestwich, the group took shape with singer Jimmy Barnes and eventually bass player Phil Small.

They started the hard grind of playing gigs on the back of flatbed trucks and in suburban hotels.

Barnes remembered young “Mossy” as: “a boy from the bush who didn’t wear shoes but played fantastic”.

They paid their dues, playing countless one-night stands across the country.

The reputation and status of Cold Chisel steadily grew, mainly on the strength of blistering shows and, in time, their well-crafted recordings became staples of radio airplay.

By 1980, with the release of the seminal East, they were the biggest band in the country.

Moreover, they defined a national sound – hard-driving rock chased by a shot of blues, lyrics depicting the Australian experience and resonating powerfully with young working class fans.

Moss’ voice began to shine through such seminal Cold Chisel songs as Never Before, Bow River (written by him) and a gorgeous rendition of Ray Charles’ Georgia.

However, efforts to translate overwhelming Australian success to Europe and the United States failed to gain traction, serving to demoralise, frustrate and eventually dissolve the band at the height of its creative powers.

While the Last Stand tour in December 1983 closed an important chapter in Moss’ musical career, Cold Chisel remains one of Australia’s favourite groups long after its demise.

He then carefully evolved into a solo artist of the same calibre.

After five years of patient nurturing, Moss released his debut single Tucker’s Daughter in January 1989.

It caused an immediate sensation.

The anthemic song – which he wrote in collaboration with Walker – sat in the Top 10 for 11 weeks and hit No 1 for a fortnight.

It achieved gold sales status after 15 weeks and sold more than 73,000 copies in Australia alone.

Moss’ second solo single, Telephone Booth, was released in June that year, hit the Top 10 and remained in the Top 20 for 10 weeks.

This bold renaissance of his solo career amplified his willingness to embrace new ideas and influences.

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