Moon goes ‘undercover’ with tribute to musical heroes
Not every musician gets to pay their respects in person to those who inspired them while growing up, but that’s what Jacob Moon got to do when legendary progressive rock band Rush was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
After seeing his cover of their song “Subdivisions” on YouTube, the band asked Moon to perform his acoustic take on the track at the induction ceremony in 2010.
Moon’s interpretation of “Subdivisions,” as well as a cover of the Rush song “Limelight,” are included on his latest CD, Fascination. Released this past fall, the album contains two original compositions alongside covers of songs by nine musical acts, including Radiohead, Peter Gabriel and Marillion, an acclaimed British rock band Moon was asked to open for during a recent European tour.
The singer-songwriter says he recorded Fascination to thank the musicians who have inspired him and helped him along in his career over the past 20 years.
“I wanted to pay homage to the bands that made my career possible,” Moon says by phone from the Hamilton, Ontario home he shares with his wife, Allison, and their two sons, Gabriel and Simon.
“Marillion gave me a boost, Rush gave me a boost … I’ve just been really helped by my heroes, which is kind of an odd thing, but they’ve pushed my career along.”
Moon, who has released nine previous albums, says his goal with Fascination was to take other people’s songs and perform them in a way that his fans would recognize as true to his own sound.
“In each case, I’ve twisted [the song] a little bit,” he says. “I think it’s an enjoyable thing to hear, when you perform a song in a unique and compelling way—in a way that reveals layers of the song that maybe had been hidden before.”
Since completing his musical training at Wilfrid Laurier University, Moon has made a name for himself through a combination of his songwriting gifts, his proficiency on the acoustic guitar and his alluring tenor voice.
While he has often performed his pop and folk songs solo, using a looping guitar pedal to record what he’s playing in real time and then layer sound upon sound to make one guitar sound like an orchestra, his upcoming tour dates in March and April—which include stops throughout southern Ontario, B.C. and Alberta—will feature a full band.
“That’s been a revelation for me—finding a band that makes me want to not do the solo thing every time,” Moon says.
While his upcoming tour dates include concerts at churches, he will also play in clubs and theatres, just as he always has.
“God’s really just opening some doors for me to share my faith and my point of view, and just be a visible Christian amongst people who don’t have any faith, or any particular faith, or a bunch of different faiths or whatever it is,” he says. “In the music world, my goal is that [God] would open the doors for me to have a greater presence amongst non-Christians.”
Part of his own faith journey over the past few years has included adopting Gabriel and Simon. At times, waiting for children was difficult for Moon and his wife.
“We weren’t able to have kids ourselves and so adopted,” he says. “God has taught me about how to wait for the things that He has put on my heart. That waiting is very painful and can be faith-testing, but He has already proven to be faithful in the ways He’s answered my prayers in the past, so I’m trying to lean on His faithfulness.”