Buzz is rapidly building around Moxie, a group of Rochester-area musicians who've played recent concerts in Minneapolis, Chicago and St. Louis.
The group features musicians Mitchel Paulson(rapper/vocals), Jess Bro(vocals), and Devin Farlow(drums/vocals). After years of performing as solo artists and with numerous Twin Cities-area bands, the three have joined forces to create a sound unlike any heard on the local scene.
They're at work on their first album, which sounds like it will be an amazing blend of songs, and their live performances are raw live performance: no smoke and mirrors, no dress up — just Mitchel, Jess, and Devin, their voices, a couple mics, a set of drums, and Mitchel's beats.
Farlow is a Rochester native and has been on the music scene here since he was old enough to hold a drumstick. Paulson came to Rochester after graduating from college to become a counselor at the Rochester Alternative School. There, he began his rap career.
Bro has a connection here, too — her husband, Greg Bro (a cartoonist I've featured before), is from Stewartville.
The three have about 30 years of music experience under their belts. Farlow also plays with the Chubbsand Herschel and the Detainees. Bro is one-half of the Twin Cities based acoustic duo Jess and Zeb. Paulson has been building his solo career since he came to Rochester.
"It's great that we all bring something different to the table." said Paulson. "Devin is an amazing drummer and amazing vocalist and he brings the rock vibe for us with his indie rock background. Jess is easily one of the most amazing vocalists I've ever heard in my life. She can sing and knock out lyrics like I've never heard before and is an amazing writer and bringing something different there as well.
"I've developed a lot myself over the years, and continue to grow as a lyricist," he said. "So we are doing things right now that nobody else is doing. We have a whole hip-hop-soul-indie-funk vibe going on. We don't know how to bills ourselves because we are such an eclectic mix of so many different genres."
Bro got her start singing at Mankato State.
"Friends dared me to sing the national anthem at a sporting event … and I never turn down a dare. My first performance was at a volleyball game, and before I knew it, I was singing at all the football games, all the hockey games, and have sung at the Xcel Energy Center, the Metrodome, (and) Target Center."
Moxie has been recording at the Institute of Production and Recording in Minneapolis — "they have some of the best studios in the state," Paulson said. "We have some of the songs that are completely done, and the album essentially is written, and we are looking to get back into the studio this week and I think we will be done recording in the next few weeks."
The EP will be released later this summer.
"I think people who know each of our careers individually are going to be blown away by what we've come up with together and what this project has turned into," Paulson said. "When everything comes out it will be a culmination of many, many years of us all doing our own thing. This is fresh and new and has relit the fire for all of us — for me it's the most fun I've had making music in 10 years."
Learn more about Moxie and hear a sample at www.whoismoxie.com, and find them on Facebook.