R. Stevie Moore

The son of top Nashville session bassist Bob Moore, R. Stevie Moore began doing his own one-man home recordings as a teenager. Over the course of three decades spent perfecting his technical, musical, lyrical and conceptual skills, Moore's omnivorous, individualistic pop blender has dug into his awesome — and seemingly bottomless — well of talent and produced, since 1981, several hundred (!!!) tapes of his original work, self-released and sold exclusively via mail-order from the author's home studio in New Jersey. Since the early '80s, his scattered stream of vinyl and CD releases (all but two are imports) have nearly all been assembled, with little overlap, from his cassette-club tapes.

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Suffice to say, aficionados of fertile pop imagination, resourceful home studio technique and more stylistic diversity than most record stores can offer are highly recommended to get with Stevie. Start anywhere, and be assured that if you like what you hear on any of the discs, there are countless hours more of equal quality where that came from. (To not overstate the case, it should be acknowledged that the albums favor the cream of the cassette crop, omitting the more esoteric ramblings, personal indulgences, sonic experiments and radio-show elements that find their way into Moore's handmade missives.) "Unsung hero" only touches on the injustice of obscurity for this wry, heartfelt artist whose limber genius, vitality and productivity make him a far more profound cultural asset than any number of next-big-things with maybe two good albums in 'em. Why no major label has ever signed him is one of the modern era's mysteries. [Ira Robbins]

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