Rocket Shop 7/2/2014: Tod Moses

Words by Kiera Magnetti. Photo by James Lockridge.

Tod Moses had a great deal to share during his visit to Rocket Shop on Wednesday. I hardly had to pose any questions before he spilled all of his remarkable story:

Moses plans to commence crowdfunding for his newest project, Blue Beatle, this fall. He had the concept in mind for this project since his days with his previous band, Ya Know? THAT BAND. Blue Beatle will be a compilation album of Beatles covers reimagined as blues songs, and will include collaborations with a medley of other Vermont artists. Moses even plans to travel back to his hometown in Ohio to record one track with some old friends. “We’ll actually be tracking percussion for the song in my old alma mater [high school] auditorium,” says Moses. While the album will feature a track with Moses’ current band—Tod Moses & Fujita 5—he is tackling the project solo. “I wanted to take the time to craft our [the band’s] live sound before we go back into the studio,” says Moses. “But I try to record something new every year, so I decided to go ahead with this project.”

There will be an eventual launch party for the album, along with a concert video from the party and a documentary on the making of the album. Because so many different artists are involved in the making of this album, Moses decided to donate any profits from the project to charity instead of splitting royalties. He narrowed it down to two charities, and ultimately decided on the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Moses’ approach went from “let’s just find a charity” to an actual campaign to raise awareness when Moses himself was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“The prognosis is so good that I almost didn’t even share this publicly, but I want to spread the message that it’s important for men to be tested young. I guess I’ve become an accidental poster child for the issue,” says Moses.

In fact, Moses says, his diagnosis completely changed his approach to the production of Blue Beatle. “I originally wanted to do most of the singing on the album,” he says. “Now, instead, I’m bringing in more artists. There will be more bands contributing complete tracks. That way, they can spread the word about the issue to their fans, and it will hopefully reach more people.”

Overall, Moses has positive feelings about the turn this project has taken. “It’s all much bigger than what I originally had in mind. But at this point in my life, I don’t do anything I’m not passionate about, and this is something that’s important to me.”

Moses will be performing a solo show at Radio Bean on September 5th, and the tentative date for the Blue Beatle launch party is September 19th. You can find out more about the project here.