Anglo-American guitarist Jamie Moses has played with many music greats in his day, but after playing a night of Queen music in Bristol, Connecticut, he reflected on an experience that was a true gift to him — playing with Brian May of Queen.
“It was an honor. It was just fantastic, it was great,” Moses said in the Green Room after playing with tribute band Celebrating Queen and Tommy Williams of the Hooters at Memorial Boulevard Theatre. “I’ve played with some people in my time. But Brian’s always been one of my favorite guitar players in the world. So, all my Christmases came at once when I got that gig. It was great.”
He started playing with May’s band and the surviving members of Queen in 1992, the year after the world lost arguably one on the most talented rock vocalists of all time, Freddie Mercury, Queen’s lead singer. Though, he did have the fortune of playing with Mercury in his career, according to his website.
“I started out with the Brian May band and did many tours with that band and then that stopped at the end of the 90s,” said Moses, who played second guitar to May when he was in the band.
Listening to Celebrating Queen, if you closed your eyes, the guitar was on par with the real Queen, possibly because Moses played a stint as one of them. But ask him what it takes to be a Queen guitarist and he’s quite humble. Despite playing with Queen, he still gives all the guitar credits to May.
“He’s the only real Queen guitarist. I just help him out a bit, that’s all,” Moses said. “You just have to get in Brian’s head a little bit, which I supposed to do a bit. I don’t know. I just love the way he plays.”
May’s band is now touring with Adam Lambert. There’s no second guitar needed in that, but Moses said he was recently invited to play with May and Queen again in southeast London.
“He’s still a very good friend and I saw him a few weeks ago and they invited me onto their London gig at The 02,” Moses said.
Moses said “Under Pressure” is most likely his favorite Queen song to play, but he plays with such ease with exceptional energy and range that can either blend or stand out depending on when it’s necessary to harmonize and when it’s time to solo.
Born in England to a Bristish mother and American father and raised in the United States and Japan, Moses began teaching himself how to play guitar when he was 10 years old, according to his website, www.jamiemoses.com. He performed everything from Hendrix and James Brown covers to The Beatles at U.S. Air Force bases when he was 13, and also appeared on local television and radio shows, his bio on his website states. Then he moved to England with his family and plays freelance guitar/vocals with numerous artists.
The list of musicians Moses has worked with aside from Mays and Queen is vast and includes Corinne Bailey Rae, Queen Latifah, Annie Lennox, Olivia Newton-John, The Pretenders, Lionel Richie, U2 and Amy Winehouse to name a few, according to his website.
So what brought rock royalty to a former middle school and small-town theater in Bristol? Tribute band Celebrating Queen has three Bristol natives in it — lead singer Joe “JJ Midnight” Archambeault,” his brother, Carl “CJ Midnight” Archambeault and Shawn Fitzgerald, so that may have had something to do with it. Moses’s humility and sheer passion for music shines through as no venue is too small for him.
“They find me and sort of seek me out and they say, ‘Do you want to come play with us?’ because of my history with the band,” Moses said. “And I do. I’m happy to do it.”
Moses didn’t have much of a chance to see much of Bristol before the concert.
“Well, I’ve seen my hotel room and I’ve seen the lobby and the bar and the restaurant and it’s alright,” he said with a smile.
But he sure saw the audience, likely packed with Bristol residents.
“Terrific, great, lovely crowd,” he said.
And Bristol was happy to have him.
You can find out more about Jamie Moses on his personal website, www.jamiemoses.com.