Influential singer-songwriter Mose Allison, who lived in Smithtown for decades until his death in South Carolina in 2016, has been honored by a tribute album starring the likes of Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop and Bonnie Raitt.
Released Nov. 29 by Fat Possum Records, "If You're Going to the City: A Tribute to Mose Allison" features 15 songs by the much-covered musician, whose hybrid jazz-blues style proved too iconoclastic for the mainstream but earned him a devoted fan following and high regard from such fellow singer-songwriters as Van Morrison and The Who's Pete Townshend, among the many others who covered his songs. He has the rare distinction of an official marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail and being named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.
Though born in Mississippi, Allison made Long Island his home for more than 40 years before moving to Hilton Head, South Carolina, and he was among the first class of inductees to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
The artists featured on the album are Frank Black, Jackson Browne, Peter Case, Robbie Fulks, Chrissie Hynde, Taj Mahal, Iggy Pop, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, and Loudon Wainwright III, as well as The Tippo Allstars featuring Fiona Apple; Allison's musician daughter Amy Allison with Elvis Costello; the duos of Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin, and Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite; and the jazz combo Anything Mose!, consisting of Richard Julian and The John Chin Quartet.
With proceeds benefiting the musicians-in-need charity Sweet Relief, the album is available digitally; as a two-disc vinyl set; and as a CD. The latter two formats are bundled with the DVD documentary "Mose Allison: Ever Since I Stole the Blues" (2005), originally produced for the BBC.
While on Long Island, Allison and his wife Audre raised children Alissa, an attorney; John, a telecommunications specialist; Janine, a psychiatrist; and New York-based singer-songwriter Amy.