Recommendations from the editors of the OXFORD AMERICAN
In these often bombastic, bloviating days, finding music like Daniel Martin Moore’s is like drinking a clear draught of water (without lead). His voice is the kind of timeless instrument that makes you search for old-fashioned words like “draught” to describe it. We first saw him in a video cover of Hank Williams’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” with Lisa Walker of Cincinnati’s Wussy, filmed at that city’s Herzog Studio, where Williams recorded that song and others in 1949. Moore hails from just across the Ohio River in Cold Spring, Kentucky, graduated from Murray State University, and lived every bedroom-strummer’s dream when he sent a demo tape to Seattle’s SubPop label in 2007 and they signed him up, releasing Stray Age the next year.
He’s a righteous homer. He has since collaborated with cellist Ben Sollee, who grew up in Lexington, and their fellow Kentuckian Jim James of My Morning Jacket on Dear Companion, a collection of songs railing, sometimes softly and sometimes with bouncy Appalachian melodies and always with expert musicianship, against mountaintop removal mining. His 2015 album Golden Age, released in October of last year, was produced by James and added fuller instrumentation to his usual stripped-down guitar. With songs like “To Make It True,” we’re put in mind of a Commonwealth of Kentucky Nick Drake.
After a West Coast swing for the next two weeks, he has two dates in Texas—May 13 in Austin and May 14 in Dallas—then returns to Kentucky for Berea's Moonshiner’s Ball on May 21.