They deal with the worst, hone the best, find the kernel of truth that lies somewhere in between the two and share that truth with any one and everyone whose path they cross. They are more than just a duo, or a band, or an act. While it wasn’t part of the plan from the beginning, they both realize now that what they really do is build and sustain relationships.
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“I guess we thought we had something in common. But we also knew we had some things that we didn’t share in common.” As James Moors remembers it, that’s how it all started more than 10 years ago.
According to Kort, ”James had some things he did really well. Specifically, he was really good at writing lyrics. I knew that wasn’t my strength, but I felt like I could add a word here or there and I knew I could help him with musical ideas.”
According to James, “Yeah, that’s true. And Kort was especially good at helping me find the word that I didn't want to use. And, as it turns out, I was good at coming up with musical ideas that he didn’t want to use.”
And that’s how it happens - two guys willing to, in the words of Hemingway, “throw the shit in the wastebasket,” willing to be honest with each other. Ten years, dozens of songs, 100s of shows and thousands upon thousands of road miles later, their interpersonal honesty translates into the honesty they share with their audience.
“It’s not easy, “ says James, “going out every night and trying to be present, and vulnerable. It’s personal - every night, every song.” But, along the way, they both agree, that it’s been made easier by the relationships they’ve developed along the way – people who feel their thoughts and share their journey.
“It’s crazy,” says Kort. ”Sometimes we’ll be back in a town we’ve visited before – in Ireland or Florida or Minnesota or wherever – and we bust out a new song off of the new record and the people who were there when the song was born are there again. They know what we’re talking about. They were with us then and they’re with us still.”
While it wasn’t part of the plan from the beginning, they both realize now that what they really do is build and sustain relationships. ”The relationship to the music, that’s easy,” says Kort. ”I feel most at home when I’m playing and singing, no matter where it is.” James concurs: “That’s the easy part. But the rewarding part is when we notice that we’re making connections with our audience, giving voice to thoughts and feelings that are bigger than we are.”
And they don’t just do that when they’re playing. The Moors & McCumber experience starts before the show and doesn’t end till long after – if at all. Even when they’re writing, practicing, rehearsing, or working in the studio on the next record, those relationships live. “My family means everything to me,” says James, “but my family is way bigger than my nuclear family.” Kort chimes in, “Yeah, I miss my home when I’m gone. But it sure helps that we’ve made so many friends along the way who make us feel at home – wherever we are.”
The songs and the music speak for themselves – well crafted, expertly rendered, an ear pleasing blend of old and new. Most duos would be satisfied with that. But Moors & McCumber, 10 years in the making, step up to a bigger challenge. They share the best (and the worst) of themselves with each other – it’s impossible not to share some of the worst of yourself when you’re 10 years together on the road. They deal with the worst, hone the best, find the kernel of truth that lies somewhere in between the two and share that truth with any one and everyone whose path they cross. They are more than just a duo, or a band, or an act. They are a testament to the art of relationship.
- Kevin DeForrest, Songwriter and Author (January 2020)