moe. Host a Happy Hour Jam in Wine Country with a Two-Night Run in Napa Valley, CA

Photos and Review by Max Stewart

Happy hour was in wine country on a late September weekend in Napa, thanks to moe. The band performed two nights in Napa Valley, CA outside the Charles Krug Winery, a concert as part of the Blue Note Napa Summer Sessions. Simply stated, it was elite musicianship in a superb setting. All in all, the atmosphere, the band locked in tight… it was a scene that will be hard to beat. The band remains in top form since forming in 1989. They played a diverse set of tunes from their vast catalogue, including some monstrous jams and spellbinding performances of staples like “Happy Hour Hero” and “Captain America,” and a cover of Traffic’s “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.”

We were so happy seeing singer/bassist Rob Derhak healthy on stage alongside guitarist/vocalist Al Schnier, drummer Vinnie Amico, and Jim Loughlin (percussion and multi-instrumentalist). Unfortunately, guitarist Chuck Garvey is still recovering from a stroke last November and is not performing with the band, and we wish him continued recovery. In the meantime, keyboardist Nate Wilson and guitarist Suke Cerulo joined the band for the shows and blended in seamlessly.

It was a serendipitous journey for me to get to the Saturday night show in wine country, as I was actually on the same flight to San Francisco as Schnier and his wife, Melanie. After speaking with them both, my wife and I made sure we found a way to the show. This was the best decision of our West Coast trip. Funny how the universe aligns in mysterious ways at times. Seeing the band that I grew up on (I actually had a moe. sticker on my car in high school) in such a beautiful setting as the sun was setting was a full circle musical moment as a teenage fan now in my thirties.

We look forward to continuing to see moe. healthy, prosperous and mainstays on the scene for years to come.

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