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Music keeps Mose Allison going

Even at 1 a.m. last Sunday, after finishing a performance in London, pianist/singer Mose Allison was charming, bursting with energy and quick with the answers. (They are provided below.)

Pretty impressive for a 76-year-old who is at an age when most musicians reminisce about their former performances. Not so for Allison, who still plays about 150 gigs a year throughout the United States and England.

Allison will be joined by bassist Bill Douglass and drummer Pete Magadini at the Center for the Arts (314 W. Main St.) in Grass Valley on Oct. 21. Showtime is 8 p.m.; admission is $20. Advance tickets are at Love Shack Records, Yabobo, BriarPatch and The Book Seller or by calling (800) 594-8499.



– Carol Feineman

Q: After 54 years of being on the road, are you tired yet?




A: I’m tired of being on the road but not playing. You have to travel; getting there has always been part of the playing. When I get to the job, I’m fine. The playing is fine.

Q: Why are you still performing all over the U.S. and London when your fans would easily understand if you called it quits and stayed at home, working instead on hobbies?

A: Are you kidding? That’s the only thing that keeps me going for 54 years. You have to do it every night, it’s a challenge.

Q: What music do you listen to in your spare time?

A: Far-out, so called avant-garde. Right now, I’m listening to German composer Wolfgang Rihm.

Q: What’s your favorite part of performing/touring?

Performing is the whole thing. When it’s going right, it’s great.

Q: What’s your least favorite part of performing/touring?

Like I already said, getting there – the travel and all that.

Q: For decades, the music industry has been unable to classify your genre.

A: They’ve never been able to tag me. I always tell the story that one of the agents sent out a flier. One grouping was jazz, one grouping was blues, one grouping was country and one grouping was Mose Allison. I had my own category; they didn’t know what to make of me.

Q: How often do you play with Bill Douglass and Pete Magadini?

A: I’ve been playing with them for 30 years. I played with them in San Francisco. Pete’s a good friend. I played with him all over the Northern Hemisphere. I played with Bill quite a bit in the ’60s or the ’70s.

Q: What can the audience expect on Oct. 21 when the three of you are on stage?

A: Who knows? I have no idea. I hope they expect me to play well and sing well.


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