Nick Moser Music: Pennock man releases original music he recorded in Nashville
PENNOCK — Sometimes it can be the little things that can have a big impact on the human spirit.
Take, for example, an empty coat hook near the front door.
That's what Nick Moser saw when he brought his newborn daughter home from the hospital and pictured how her little coat would get bigger and bigger as she grew older, and eventually the hook would be empty when she grew up and left home.
That quick observation became "An Empty Hook," one of Moser's latest songs he's written and recorded in Nashville.
"I really love to write songs that I'm passionate about, and ideas I see on a daily basis," said Moser.
The 29-year-old, who grew up in Morris and went to school for carpentry in Alexandria, lives in rural Pennock with his wife, Alli, and two young daughters, aged 2½ and 9 months.
When he's not working as a carpenter, Moser is writing lyrics and music at home for songs to record as an independent artist at a studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
He's been to Nashville twice to record original songs he's released online and on an extended play record.
Moser performs as a solo act, playing country and classic rock cover songs, as well as his original tunes at bars and public events throughout west central Minnesota. He recently formed a band, with a drummer, lead guitarist and bass player. The group is currently scheduled to play at the mayor's annual bike ride in Willmar May 17 that concludes at Foxhole Brewhouse in Willmar, and at the Meeker County Fair in August.
His band practices in an old grainery on Moser's rural farmsite, which Moser is renovating into a studio where he hopes to record his music in the future.
By playing live music and promoting his recorded original music, Moser said he wants to steadily advance his career in the music industry.
Moser said he started playing guitar when he was about 15 years old on a nothing-special acoustic guitar his grandmother bought at a garage sale that somehow ended up in his closet.
After teaching himself to play the garage-sale guitar by "trial and error," Moser said he entertained family and friends by singing popular songs and songs he'd written as a hobby.
Moser estimates he's written about 500 original songs since he started writing songs when he was 20.
There was a period of time when he was writing a new song every day.
But — like all budding artists — he said his early work won't ever see the light of day.
About four years ago Moser said he started getting serious about writing songs and singing professionally.
"I kind of thought it was time to start really digging in and get as professional as I can with my songwriting — and approach it more like a career standpoint, instead of just a hobby," he said.
"Songwriting was always the main thing that I really loved," he said. "I kind of more fell in love with the singing aspect when I started to make a career out of it, that's when I started paying attention to the vocals."
Moser said without "decent songwriting" he knew a career in country music likely wouldn't go far. He's spent the last three to four years concentrating on improving his writing skills. He's also improving his singing through practice and playing more in public.
"I'm trying to write songs that people can relate to," Moser said.
He said his style of music is influenced by the likes of Tom Petty, Eric Church and Granger Smith.
Moser had never been to Nashville before he went there in 2018 to record his original songs.
"I didn't know what to expect," said Moser, who worked with studio musicians who provided back-up music and vocals.
Moser said he quickly got a good vibe from the studio and the experience, and knew he was on the right path.
"It was all working on music the whole time we were there," he said. "It was work, but it was working on a job I was passionate about."
On his first trip to Nashville he recorded an extended play album featuring four original songs. On his second trip he recorded three original songs that were released as singles.
The next step in the process of advancing a career as a musician is building a fan base by playing live with his band and getting the word out about his music.
"People don't realize how much it means to artists who are unsigned," Moser said, emphasizing that when fans share music with others or invite friends to a live performance it helps artists like him gain footing in the business.
Moser's music is available for free on his website, www.nickmosermusic.com and on various internet music sites like iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and YouTube and his album is also available for sale.
Moser said it can be tough to break into the national country music scene and advance up the charts, but said states like Texas have their own charts that rank sales of original music by local artists.
He said it would be nice if Minnesota also had that kind of support for original artists.