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At the heart of English folk
Moore Moss Rutter

Exclusive interview: Moore Moss Rutter

Award-winning trio Moore Moss Rutter play Cecil Sharp House on Wednesday 13 April. We had a chat with guitarist Jack Rutter to find out a bit more about the band.

How did you start playing as a trio?

Tom (Moore) and Archie (Moss) began playing as a duo around ten years ago now after a chance meeting at Cambridge Folk Festival and a discovered shared love of and repertoire of English and French dance tunes which I doubt too many 11 year olds have. I then joined around four years later after we were all booked on the Area 2 Youth Stage at Beverley Folk Festival as we realised it might be quite nice to have some guitar and songs in the mix as well.

You released your second album last year; how do you feel you’ve developed as an ensemble since the last album?

Musical maturity really, we’d had a lot of time since the first album where we’d all been playing music together and in many different guises and I feel in those four or so years between Moore Moss Rutter and II we all really developed hugely creatively, stylistically and technically, so when it came time to record II we were ready to really record and capture a far fuller more rounded version of our music. I also feel we’d developed quite far in our approach and delivery of song on II with both myself and Archie adding to the album vocally.

Where do you go looking for your repertoire?

We’ve all got quite different methods of going about this individually which I reckon actually is quite good for us as a whole. Tom reads music very well and is studying at Goldsmith’s at the moment and can pick out tunes and ideas from the page and then present them to us two, and then we can all explore and learn and arrange them, whereas Archie is always writing tunes and passages and ideas, though Tom also writes loads of tunes. I generally pick up tunes by ear in sessions or from CDs and bring them to the trio as well as finding the songs that we then sort a full arrangement out of.

How do you go about arranging your tunes?

Tune-wise we generally just have a new one that we love at the moment and we end up playing it whenever we’re together warming up or soundchecking or what have you, and then slowly as we keep playing it more and more ideas and organic arrangements happen until we have a proper week or so sit down rehearsal where we fully arrange and record and set out how we might want sets to be. Still at the same time we’re always slowly slowly rearranging all our material gig by gig as we go on as we kind of throw each other (helpful/friendly/intriguing) curveballs while playing which set us off on different ideas within tunes and arrangements.

What have you been listening to recently?

Nic Jones (as always), Bring Me the Horizon, the Watersons, Tony Rice

What have you got going on outside of the trio at the moment and what does the future hold for Moore Moss Rutter?

We all play with numerous other artists and outfits as well as session work and after this academic year we’ll all be full time professional musicians (Archie’s now just finishing a biology degree at Bristol uni). We’re currently beginning writing and arranging the third album which should be should be out in early Spring 2017 and plans are afoot to tour and promote that heavily as we’ll now have the chance to really put our weight behind the whole Moore Moss Rutter thing, which is great news.


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National Youth Folk Ensemble

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