Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1949, Ajax Moore returned to Broken Arrow (a suburb of Tulsa) in 1974 after spending 4 yrs at Arizona State University just in time to catch Cain's Ballroom open its doors to the progressive country sounds coming out of Austin, Texas. At that time Cain's switched from Bob Wills, Hank Thompson, and Kitty Wells' styles of music to Jerry Jeff Walker, Alvin Crow, David Allen Coe and other acts hailing from Austin. Ajax and his running buddies were impressed by this new outlaw sound and planned to check out the Austin scene. Ajax Moore was the only one that eventually made the move to Austin.
In October of 1979 Moore arrived in Austin, and for the first time found himself in a city where artists ruled. Though primarily a poet, in 1984 he was introduced to Jubal Clark. After showing Clark some of his poems he was coaxed into learning the guitar and turning his poems into songs, pre-warned that he may be afflicted with what Clark called the "Jubal Jinx". Ajax Moore's friendship with Jubal Clark soon had him fully immersed in the Austin Outlaw Country Music scene. Blaze Foley, Calvin Russell, The Waddell Brothers, Rich Minus, Michael Barker, Hank Sinatra, and The V. T. B. were a 24-7 part of the next 13 years of his songwriting and performing career, where visits from Townes Van Zandt were a regular occurrence.
In the early 90's Moore dabbled in the movie business, landing a small part in "Ned Blessing," and somewhere around 1993 he was approached by the owners of Gino's Italian Grill to start and host, to great acclaim, a songwriters showcase on Wednesday nights. Ultimately, the circles that Moore was traveling in began to tighten "where living the songs you wrote was the reality." After the death of Blaze Foley (a couch resident at the South Ridge Drive duplex where Moore and Clark were living at the time) and the subsequent death of Jubal Clark himself, Ajax Moore migrated to Gun Barrel City and Log Cabin, TX where he lived in a self imposed seclusion, writing new songs and finishing songs that had been in the works for 20 years and longer.
Early in 2005 Moore approached old compadre, The V. T. B., with the idea of working up some of his songs into a project with The Roulette Wheel Band as his backup. The CD entitled Kawoni is a result of that collaboration.
Review From MusicAustin:
Looking at his Grizzly Adams face would lead you to expect rough and rugged country from Ajax Moore. You wouldn't be too far off, but you'd be in for a couple of surprises as well.
One surprise might be called "polish." This is a polished album with great arrangements and a terrific band. Moore plays with the Roulette Wheel Band, which the album cover doesn't list by name, except that Eddie Trent is named as a special guest on the pedal steel guitar. Every musician playing in the Roulette Wheel Band is top notch and the group adds a lot to the CD.
Moore does have that dusty, home-grown kind of back porch voice you might expect from looking at the album cover, but he sings with surprising depth and clarity. His songs are about life, love, and typical country inspired themes, but Moore brings fresh wisdom and understanding to the music.
Back in the day when Moore was part of the Austin Outlaw Country Music scene, he hung with songwriters and singers like Blaze Foley and Calvin Russell. He's been living in Oklahoma for a while. We see the Oklahoma influence in the album title, Kawoni, which means Cherokee Flower Moon. This is the season when first plants come out, and represents new beginnings. Moore's new beginning is a definite success and hopefully will lead to even more albums from this long-reclusive talent.