Monday, November 28, 2022

Tight Spots, Adult Situations, and Good Times: The Many Moods of Moon Pie Curtis

“But living in the past can get kind of lame, and it really don’t make sense,” posits Moon Pie Curtis in the final verse of “Damn Good Times,” the closing track on side one of his new album “Tight Spots,” a sprawling collection of new original songs.

Moon Pie Curtis is the musical persona of award-winning Oxford-based songwriter Tad Wilkes. The album “Tight Spots,” released on Oct. 24, is available on most platforms, including Apple Music,
iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and YouTube.

Acoustic folk troubadour tracks live alongside fully fleshed rock and R&B grooves, but all bear the quirky lyrical observances, philosophies, tales of mischief, and spiritual revelations of the Reverend MPC (He became an ordained minister after his first record, 2015’s “Enter the Fool”).

As Moon Pie Curtis, Wilkes guides listeners through a gauntlet of tight spots, adult situations, grief, bad luck, and hope, among other scenes and reckonings. Along the way are stories of truly working remote, navigating challenging life snags, karma versus chaos, flawed but funky characters, love, and gratitude.

The influences of a lifetime ebb and flow throughout “Tight Spots,” with whispers of the songwriting and attitudes of Shel Silverstein, Kris Kristofferson, David Lee Roth, Jerry Jeff Walker, Donald Fagen, Jerry Reed, Bob Dylan, John Prine, J. J. Cale, Funky Donnie Fritts, and Redd Foxx breezing in and out.

Wilkes self-recorded and produced the album, playing everything but the drums.

Moon Pie Curtis (Tad Wilkes) is a singer-songwriter based in Oxford. He won first place in
American Songwriter magazine’s March/April 2018 Lyrics Contest, in a pool of around 600 entrants, for the lyrics of his song “Be Good to Your Woman.”

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Staff report