Surprise Me Mr. Davis – feat. The Slip & Nathan Moore 3/02/2005: Higher Ground – S. Burlington, VT

Nathan Moore may very well be one of the finest singer/songwriters of our generation. With songs that are so pure and honest, you can follow his pains and his joys note for note and word for word. Stepping away from his regular band, ThaMuseMeant, Moore teamed up with the members of The Slip to rejuvenate Surprise Me Mr. Davis, a band that grew out of a Boston blizzard a couple of years ago.

Being the second night of the Surprise Me Mr. Davis Tour tour, I was expecting to hear a band that was still working out its kinks. However, this would not be the case at Higher Ground, not even by a long shot. The show started out in grand fashion with the band all dressed to the nines, starting off with a humorous song where the refrain went “honey, everything about you is money.” This song included a kazoo solo from every member of the band except bassist Marc Friedman, who quite amusingly, couldn’t pipe a sound out of it. This silliness set the tone for the rest of the show; part rock, part magic and part vaudeville. The songs were the star of the evening, most of which were written by Nathan Moore and can be found on his solo recordings. Some stand out numbers included: “I Wanna Get To Heaven Before I Die”, “Let’s Sing It Drunkenly” and “I Hate Love.”

The members of the Slip, stepping away from there usually more jammed-out structure, served up some great moments during the show. Brad Barr’s guitar solos stretched from whimsical to high energy. Drummer Andrew Barr kept the pace for the show without a flinch and even took things into his own feet by playing the drums with drum sticks between his toes.

The big highlight of the night would be “I Am A Rubber Ball” in which Moore would magically pull a small red rubber ball out of his mouth after each chorus. This took the spirit of the night to a new level of surprise. All I could think was, “what

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