Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Chris Moyse!
Chris Moyse is a Nashville-based folk songwriter hellbent on the truth; “the places most would rather stay away from” he says. He has recently shared the stage with folk troubadours like Joe Ely and Mary Gauthier, as well as members of Old Crow Medicine show. Originally from Monroe, CT, he started playing his songs at bars when he was 16. He released his debut EP titled Bad Parts in early 2017 and the momentum has allowed him to tour around the country consistently since then. Armed with a batch of poetic songs, Chris has a knack for drawing people in with his witty banter, revealing lyrics, and beautiful melodies. Speaking of his songs, Moyse says “I like real stories more than I like parables. Things that are a little uglier and maybe don’t give you all the answers. I don’t believe what Dylan said about all good songs having been written already – I think it’s just a matter of finding a different angle.” Chris was a winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition.
Songs aren’t necessary for survival but they sure make it easier. Since 2016, Chris Moyse has been playing 75+ shows a year, most of which have been on the road. Yet he finds joy in not letting it entirely take over his life. “A great song can be powerful enough to change the entire course of your day. But at the end of that day, it’s still just a song. I find artistic freedom in being honest about that.” As someone who claims it typically takes him a month or two to finish editing a song, this can seem a bit contradictory. But after talking to Moyse you realize how important things like jokes, relationships, and having a good set of hobbies are to him; the art of life. And yes, of course, this often includes songwriting.
After moving to Nashville in 2013, he caught the bug when he was turned on to contemporary artists like Jason Isbell, John Moreland, and Justin Townes Earle. He released his debut EP Bad Parts in 2016 – a culmination of 7 diverse songs that feel at once personal and specific, yet universal and relatable. In 2017, he submitted two of those songs to the highly-competitive Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition. Not only was Moyse selected as a finalist from a pool of over 600 applicants, but he also went on to become a 2017 Kerrville New Folk Winner. “Comparing art against other art can be a bit strange and frivolous, but I’d be lying if I said that didn’t open up a few doors for me. So yeah I’m definitely grateful for that one.”
He would go on to play such venues as: Fischer Dance Hall, Rockwood Music Hall, City Winery Nashville, and the legendary Old Quarter in Galveston, TX. He has also been a selected performer at music festivals including Dripping Springs Songwriters Fest in 2018 & 2019, Winchendon Music Fest and Red Lodge Songwriters Fest in 2019, and the upcoming 2020 Corpus Christi Songwriters Fest in Texas. He has shared the stage with artists like Joe Ely, Mary Gauthier, Ben Kweller, and members of Old Crow Medicine Show.
Chris Moyse looks forward to releasing his debut full-length album in the spring of 2020. Produced by Shawn Byrne (Rodney Atkins, Mark Knopfler) in Nashville, TN, the record is a collection of 11 songs that show Moyse’s personal and musical growth since his last project. “I think satisfaction is best in small doses but we’re pretty proud of this [record]. I’m anxious for people to hear it.”
Some weeks, you can find Moyse playing listening rooms and house concerts across the country. Other weeks, you can find him at his warehouse job that he’s proud to have had for the past four years. “I might leave the job someday soon if I can afford to do it. But for now I can’t complain. A paycheck takes some of the pressure off being a touring singer-songwriter. And I’m less of a hazard when I’m busy.”