Moxy are a Canadian institution, there’s a bit of everything here, acoustic fronted affairs that turn into mean-street rockers, or power rock with melody at the forefront.
Written by: gdmonline
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Buzz Shearman – vocals * *Earl Johnson – guitar * *Terry Juric – bass * *Bill Wade – drums
Additional Musicians: Tommy Bolin – guitar * Tom Stephenson – piano
TRACK LISTING: 01 Fantasy * 02 Sail On Sail Away * 03 Can’t You See I’m A Star * 04 Moon Rider * 05 Time To Move On * 06 Still I Wonder * 07 Train * 08 Out Of The Darkness
WEBLINKS: Site Link
They are an institution in Canada. An even bigger one in Texas believe it or not! Moxy’s history goes back a way. I won’t reinvent the history books on their behalf. That’s what Google is for. But if I can summarise in a nutshell, two bands are key in Moxy’s development: Leigh Ashford and Outlaw Music. Both have contributed members to these Maple Leaf extroverts!
Many great Canadian bands have intersected Moxy’s timeline before and after, including Goddo, Triumph, Brutus, Ian Thomas and even the talented Tommy Bolin (Deep Purple, James Gang). So you can see Moxy touched many in the hard rock community, both north and south of the US/Canadian border.
Moxy actually carried the name Leigh Ashford deep into 1974, and with a myriad of line-up changes, had settled on a stable line-up by the time they changed names during the October/November 1974 timeframe.
Moxy’s debut album followed soon after in the Spring of 1975. Tommy Bolin was asked to chip in, after guitarist Earl Johnson and the album’s producer Mark Smith got into a stoush, and Johnson was removed from the sessions.
Mark Smith was previously involved with Bachman Turner Overdrive, but thankfully Moxy steer well clear of the timberjack rock that the Vancouver rockers made famous a few years earlier.
There’s a bit of everything here. Acoustic fronted affairs that turn into mean-street rockers, or power rock with melody at the forefront. Songs that were prominent at the time included the late 1974 single ‘Can’t You See I’m A Star’, or the Asian influenced intro to the opener ‘Fantasy’.
The vocals of Buzz Sherman tended to drift across the soundscape, and it wasn’t until further into the album that he began to grunt it out. The acoustic ‘Sail On Sail Away’ changes the mood somewhat, but not for long as it kicks into an all-out rocker. ‘Moon Rider’ has a hint of old BTO styled rock, but it never got as heavy-handed as those blokes.
‘Time To Move On’ rollicks along nicely, Canadian hard rock never sounded so good at this stage of the 1970’s. ‘Still I Wonder’ shows Moxy creating hard rock that would hold them in good stead for the next few years. It’s pretty classy. ‘Train’ is a bit of a slow grinder, not quite as hooky as Blackfoot singing about trains years later! ‘Out Of The Darkness’ is another slow-burn rocker that can turn your insides out.
Big things became of Moxy in the next few years. This LP, initially a Canadian only release, soon got a wider audience thanks to Mercury Records, which was Polydor’s parent company. The reissued LP made it out in 1976, and by then, ‘Moxy II’ was out the door.
Interestingly, if you pick up the latest 2015 CD from Escape Music: ’40 Years And Still Ridin’ High’, you’ll hear revamped versions of the originals, including a handful of tracks from this album, which sound better than ever! Moxy.. a band still going strong years later!
Entire Album (Select Tracks)