Randy Lewis, Bryan Cole, Jimmy O'Neill, Steve McRay
The Band formed in 1972, with
core members from the Florida band "Stonehenge". The band
name derived from jazz great "Mose Allison' and a family dog
named "Jones". Initially the band was created with Clay
Watkins on keys, then during the recording of their first
album, replaced by long-time friend Steve McRay (keys and
vocals), who had just returned from his stint with the US
ARMY and serving in Vietnam.
In 1972 Mose Jones was the first
band signed by Al Kooper for his startup Atlanta label
"Sounds of the South" on MCA Records.
Al's "Blues Project" was chosen, and a band named "Elijah". The last
band signed was a little band from Jacksonville that had been
playing in Atlanta - that band's name was "Lynyrd Skynyrd".
of the South / MCA
of the South / MCA
Al Kooper and Charles Calello
Producer - Performer Al Kooper...had
been visiting Atlanta since he played
the first Atlanta Pop Festival in 1969.
The southern rock scene was exploding,
and Kooper had noticed the abundance of
talent in and about Atlanta. With the
backing of MCA Records, he launched the
"Sounds Of The South" label with the
initial deal calling for four new
artists - three of which turned out to
be: the Atlanta band Mose Jones, Los
Angeles funk band Elijah, and Kooper's
own reformed Blues Project. It was on
Mose Jones' recommendation that the
final spot was filled by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Kooper jammed with the group at
Funochios, and after some initial
hesitancy from the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd
photo's of Lynyrd Skynyrd at the
Atlanta bar "Funochios"
Mose Jones with Al Kooper photo
Speckled Bird Article - Click to read
An Interesting French Magazine article with Bryan Cole
In 1975, Mose Jones Disbanded
- road weary
touring schedules, lack of record and tour support,
along with frustrating issues with both management and
booking - it had all taken it's toll on the band.
Even with the addition of long time
friend Davis Causey (Sea Leavell, Randall Bramblett, Greg
Allman) on guitar, just to give the group one more shot in the
arm, it was not meant to be...all the members went their
separate ways and shut down Mose Jones......but, there was more
recently released article about the Mose "Live at Richard's" Project -
Bryan Cole interviewed by Luc Brunot read the on-line interview
Randy Lewis passed away from complications of
a heart attack in January of 2001 where he had been
living / playing music in Key West and other parts
Jimmy O'Neill passed away in September of 2001 from complications of a brain tumor.
Jimmy had continued living his life as a dedicated
musician, songwriter, producer, and family man.
2001, Bryan Cole survived an aorta rupture
that was so severe his right leg had to be amputated
to save his life. He continued his path as a
producer and part time musician and full time family
man until December 9th 2012; Bryan passed away from
complications after a planned 2nd surgery to repair
an aneurism of his aorta that had been threatening
On January 13, 2013 a "Celebration of
Life" was given in Bryan's honor with hundreds and
hundreds of friends, family members, musicians, and
others attending the day long affair.
Steve McRay lives in Atlanta, GA and is doing very well as a
musician, composer, songwriter, and record label
owner. Our friend Davis Causey lives in Athens, GA, continuing as a songwriter,
producer, studio owner and musician.
"Mose Jones - Live at Richard's -
Atlanta, Ga. 1974"
Chris Seymour, Marvin Taylor,
Steve McRay, Randy Lewis
When the original
Mose Jones #1 line-up broke up, all of the members
immediately found other musical endeavors.
After landing a position with British progressive
jazz rock band "IF", keyboardist Steve McRay
returned to Atlanta - soon all of the guys
found themselves playing some gigs together again.
This would lead to Randy Lewis, Bryan Cole and Steve
writing songs and playing some more gigs together,
this time as a trio. Soon after they ran into
guitarist Marvin Taylor; they asked him to come sit
in with the band, then they invited him to join the
band! Pretty soon more songwriting and new jams
started happening. So, the decision was made to go
ahead and put the band back together again, as "Mose
Jones"! This would lead them to get more serious
about their songwriting and rehearsing...but an
unplanned set-back for the band would delay them, as
an ill-timed opportunity opened up for drummer Bryan
Bryan was contacted
by original Mose Jones guitarist Jimmy O'Neill -
through Nashville connections a position had opened
up for them; they both left Atlanta to join Tree
publishing in Nashville as staff songwriters. After
a stint at Tree, another position opened for them -
they were invited to join world renown country/jazz
fiddle player "Vassar Clements", and tour in his
That left the newly
formed band looking for a drummer to take Bryan's
position - after scouting around and holding
auditions, a drummer was found, and the band asked
him to join the newly formed Mose Jones - Chris
Seymour was a perfect fit for the direction the band
was heading. With more songwriting and rehearsing,
the new style, which was now leaning toward a more
funk/R&B rock, was taking place - soon after record
companies were starting to take notice.
As fate would have
it, RCARecords made a trip to Atlanta
to see a band they thought would be a good sign. The
RCA group, along with producer/songwriter Buddy
Buie, accidentally happened to come into a club
where Mose was playing that night. This was NOT the
band they had come to Atlanta to see and hear - They
were blown away with the style and the sound of this
band, and negotiations started almost immediately to
sign Mose Jones to the newly formed label that Buddy
Buie and Arnie Geller put together on RCA records.
Mose Jones signed to RCA /BGO-
soon after, they would be recording their Blackbird album at Studio One in Doraville.
RCA / BGO
Tad Bush /
RCA / BGO
Tad Bush / Mose Jones
Pictures below taken at
Georgia Land and Lumber Co - St Simons Island, GA
Mose Jones released their album and
began touring the US in support of the album - they were opening large
concerts and headlining small venues and clubs. Sharing the stage
with many artists of the 70's - Boz Skaggs, Doobie Brothers, Atlanta
Rhythm Section, Kiki Dee, Santana, Eddie Money, Little Feat, Sea Leavell, Mother's Finest,
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wet Willie, Charlie Daniels Band, Rick Derringer, Molly Hatchet, Outlaws,
Dixie Dregs, Leslie West, Marshall Tucker, Stillwater and others.
*A 2nd album was recorded, mixed, and mastered, but
RCA chose not to release the album. Times were changing
and a new regime came to power within RCA Records, which
sometimes happens. The record company determined they
did not hear a single on the newly recorded album
project - the band would go back into the studio to
record several songs to give the record company a
single, but to no avail. The record deal came to an end
and the 2nd Mose Jones - came to an end as well.
Although the band members
remained friends and played together in other bands (Out
a Hand Band, Java Monkey, Men From Mars, and others) and
many recording situations, they never played under the
name Mose Jones again.
As things happen, about a year after Mose Jones broke
up, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, who had recently
signed with Columbia Records, needed another song for
their album. Steve McRay answered a call at home one
night from ARS producer and writing partner Buddy Buie -
Buddy asked Steve if he would stop by the studio and go
over the song Alien for the band; they had heard
it and liked it, and possibly may want to record it.
Steve went to Studio One, rehearsed the song with the
guys, and ended up recording the song with ARS that
night, and later was called in to sing back-up vocal
parts with Ronnie Hammond.
The song Alien was presented
to Columbia in a package of songs sent in from ARS for
the executives to hear - the song Alien was chosen by
Columbia to be one of the "singles" off the new ARS
album to be named Quinella!
The top 40 hit song "Alien", (#16 on the Adult
Contemporary charts) which the "Atlanta Rhythm
Section" recorded in 1981 for their Quinella album
(CBS), was one of the songs on the 2nd unreleased Mose Jones album
- an album that RCA decided had no singles or hit songs
Note from Steve McRay:
32 Years Later!
After a successful
KICKSTARTER campaign and with the help of so many of
our MOSE JONES friends, we raised over $8000 and
secured the funds needed to release all of our
studio tracks from 1980.
In November of 2013,
we released our CD MOSE JONES "Lost/Found" with
downloadable MP3s. The CD, along with more
information, can be found at the
Records web site.
Please go to the "Remembering
Mose Jones" FAN page on
Join us for discussion, memories,
pictures, music, and comments.
Read an article from Skynyrd
Frynds about Mose Jones
"Rub / In Memory of Old What's His Name" -
Instrumental from the Blackbird LP - Mose Jones
After breaking up the band in 1980,
Mose Jones members went on to join each
other in many
musical situations and play in several bands
"Out A Hand Band", "Java Monkey", "Francine
Reed Band", "David Wingo Celebrity Band", "Randall
Bramblett Band", "The Lucky Ones", "Ichiban Blues Bands"
and others - as well as touring musicians, songwriting
partners, and studio session musicians for numerous
projects and artists.
a Hand Band at the Moonshadow -
Java Monkey - Java
Monkey w Francine Reed,