Mogollon brings ‘universal language’ to the stage - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Mogollon brings ‘universal language’ to the stage

May 24th, 2021 development
Mogollon brings ‘universal language’ to the stage

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Duane Moore said he feels he hasn’t worked a day in his life.

Moore loves everything about the music business — and has since he co-founded Mogollon in 1979.

“I love it so much,” Moore said. “I enjoy the people and the music. I love music. I really haven’t done anything else. There’s work involved just like anything else.”

Named after Moore’s residence at the Mogollon Rim, the band is a high-energy four piece that plays rock and, specifically, old country.

“I don’t like the stuff that’s out,” Moore said. “We play from Waylon to Willie to Hank Williams to Johnny Cash to Lynyrd Skynyrd to Pink Floyd. We play all the good classic rock.

“I play fiddle on stage, too. That works out well for a lot of cool Alabama songs.”

Music is “huge” for Moore, who is joined in the band by guitarist Guy Koplitz of Chandler; bassist/producer Bryan Kuban of Scottsdale; and drummer Jon Kinsey of Mesa. If Moore feels depressed, everything lifts when he picks up his guitar, strums a few chords and writes a song.

“It comes full circle,” he said. “It’s the universal language.”

That language is shared at gigs like those in Anthem on May 14, Murphy Park in Glendale on May 21, and We-Ko-Pa Casino on June 18 and July 16.

“Sharing is an amazing thing,” Moore said. “I don’t use an iPad for the lyrics. If I need to look at the lyrics when I’m on stage, I don’t want to sing it. I don’t believe I’m getting the points across.

“The mechanics should be secondary so I can feel what I’m singing. I think people feel that more than they understand that. We’re in the business of selling emotions. It’s a very emotionally driven industry and that’s what we do. It’s cool when people come up and say, ‘I just had the time of my life’ or ‘My wife and I have been married x number of years. We met at your concert.”

When the audience is involved, Moore said, it creates an energy, the synergy that’s “pretty powerful.”

“It’s not performer-audience,” he said. “The audience is part of us. It’s cool when you reach at pinnacle. It’s just crazy cool, getting out into the audience with my fiddle and running around. We just like to have fun with them. They love it.”

Music has helped Moore through tough times. His brother and sister passed away at 31 and 43, respectively, of complications of neurofibromatosis, a rare, inherited disorder that results in benign tumors of the nerves and other parts of the body.

“I hope to retire from music one day and move back to my roots,” he said. “My best friends—my brother and sister—are interred there.

“They died pretty young, but everybody has a sad story. I’m a mountain boy. I moved down here because it was a good, central location.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been productive for Moore. He took the time to reinvent himself and retool his approach to the music side of music.

“I’m doing extremely well by myself,” he said. “I’ve never played so many single gigs. Not everybody was out of work. Our industry was beat up. Restaurants, musicians and bands were beat up bad.

“Anytime I get on stage, I thank my audience profusely. Over the years, I’ve been playing a lot of great places all over the world. I’ve taken my music to exotic places. All those years prior to COVID, I took music for granted. You don’t know what you have until it’s taken away from you. Now I drink every moment like water. I absorb it. I tell the audience that story and I thank each and every one of them.”

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