“Hush” is a document of transformation. This is one man’s unblinking and unveiled declaration of his life conversion offered to his family and the world.
James Moors put a mirror up to his personal and musical lives, saw a soul divided and made major life alterations. Gone is the aging child who lived a nomadic existence caring principally about himself. Enter the young adult who has embraced a family and stability. Gone is the loner who medicated away pain, responsibility and problems. Say hello to the clear-eyed friend and neighbor. Gone is the song-crafter who worked for more than a decade from behind a pseudonym.
Welcome James Moors the artist, whose muse is clear and present throughout this collection.
“Hush” is wreathed in the love, the pride and the relief that Moors’ liberation has produced. It’s an honest account that takes listeners on an uplifting ride. Moors has found an oasis in his metamorphosis.
Moors’ adoration of his young daughter is captured on two songs, the title track and “Sunshine.”
“Hush” is such a wistful lullaby that I felt like I was eavesdropping on a father tucking his child into a warm bed on a cold night: “I pray that all your dreams are true, and you can chase what talks to you.”
“Sunshine” is the story of how seeing Lily Jane for the first time was the catalyst of change and a defining moment in his life. “I had to take a deeper look, until I shook myself up right. It was no easy dance.” It is a celebratory song of a man going through the fire of change, and it invites you to join the celebration.
Moors earlier works — “Passages” (1998), “This Moment” (2000) and “Let It Go” (2002) — rarely contained love songs. “Anne Louise,” a portrait of his wife on this new release, was worth the wait. His vivid picture of lovers in the tall grass under the stars reinforces that Moors has invested himself in this album. These songs have dimension.
Making this production even more powerful is the heavy-hitting array of solid gold talent providing tasteful backing. Lisa Germano (David Bowie, U2) not only helps on violin and vocals, but was Moors’ biggest cheerleader who encouraged him long-distance from L.A. to bring this idea to fruition. Marc Perlman (Jayhawks, Golden Smog) lays down supportive bass lines. Ben Wisch (David Wilcox, Marc Cohn) adds touches of keyboards. Canada’s favorite son, Danny Michel, helps out on a variety of instruments and with production. The group adds finesse and class, but the songs remain the bricks between the mortar.
Rest in peace Sterling Waters, the name Moors’ took after his brother went missing in the Colorado Rockies in the mid-90’s. One aspect of many great artists is simply being themselves. In the realization of his new life, Moors has produced an unencumbered, earnest new work that is inspirational.
- John Ziegler KUMD