As a singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist with a recording career that stretches back to the early seventies, G.T. Moore is a true pioneer and maverick of the British music scene. His band the “Reggae Guitars” were the first white group to seriously attempt an authentic reggae sound, recording two albums for Charisma Records and playing all over Europe, the former album boasting the original reggae cut of Bob Dylans “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” an idea taken to chart success by Eric Clapton some years later. Not only proving himself in the reggae scene but also with folk-rock band Heron - the first band to record an album out open in a field -, singer/writer Shusha, and working as a session musician for artists like Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Johnny Nash, Poly Styrene and having written songs covered by Joan Baez, Georgie Fame and Airto Moreira.
G.T. Moore was born in Reading, Berkshire, England in 1949 as Gerald Thomas Moore. He started playing about the age of 14 at the English Martyrs Youthclub, Tilehurst. The first band was called The Missing Links but they quicly changed the name to The Muddy Waters and eventually stayed with the name: The Delta Sound. The Delta Sound evolved allong with the British scene from chicago blues to soul. At the end The Delta Sound had a large brass line-up. And when The Memphis Gents singer, Malcolm Webster became sick Moore was asked to replace him temporarely but soon became the permanent singer of one of the top Reading bands.
Most of the band members went to the same school as Moore, Ashmead.
After moving to Maidenhead to go to Art School and later to London, Gerald experimented with his own solo band. While still at art school the music forms of the 60's began to proliferate and so did Moore's. He became simulatneously involved in various bands playing soul, country, psychedelic rock, folk harmony as well as doing solo gigs on acoustic guitar and banjo. It was in this guise he played concerts alongside John Martyn, Ralph McTell and Roy Harper.
His first solo recording was 'I Wouldn't Mind' on the folk blues compilation 'Firepoint' released in 1969.
Allong with friends like Mike Cooper and Tom Robinson who also had their songs on this album.
At the studio sesion Gerald got the opportunity to play with Duffy Power who was also there to record.
This was followed quite quickly by a single with a west coast style band Giant Bird, for Mercury and an experimental backing band with acoustic piano, violin and flute. Also a solo album with producer Peter Eden who was then worling for Southern Music in Denmark Street, who published almost the entire catalogue of American Blues music. Denmark Street was tin pan alley and Moore played in all small studios there: Southern Music, Central Sound (David Bowie) and Regent Sound (Hendrix/Rolling Stones).
In this same period Gerald met Roy Apps and Tony Pook and Heron at the Maidenhead folk club, at the Dolphin. Heron line-up moved around in this period and included Robert Collins, Tony Brummle Smith and Martin Hayward. Producer and manager Peter Eden was brought to see the band and with a new album planned Steve Jones was brought in to bolster the sound. In 1970 they released their self-titled album 'Heron'. The album is most notable for the fact that all the music was actually recorded outdoors in a field by the River Thames. In 1971 they got in to Pye Studios for their first studio recording, a maxi single with a version of Bob Dylan's 'Hobo'. The same studios where other Pye artists like The Kinks and Mungo Jerry were recording at the time. Later a second album 'Twice As Nice & Half The Price' was made. This second album was originally released as a double album at the price of one. Like the first album, it was again recorded outdoors, this time outside a Devon country cottage, which gives the album an unique atmosphere. This album shows a greater variety of musical styles compared to the debut album. But still the acoustic folk-style is predominant mixed with some more rocking tunes.
While being less busy with Heron Gerald was still busy with solo projects. Peter Eden got him a deal with Jonathan King's label 'U.K. Records'. 'Song of America / Wake Up' was released in 1972. A year later in 1973, the 7" got rereleased on 'Decca' in Italy. At the same time he was working with Persian singer and writer Shusha Guppy (21/03/2008) who was his girlfriend for some period. He travelled to Iran and studied the Iranian folk and classical music and in London he played with many African, West Indian and American musicians. Appart from playing guitar, also arranging/producing her work. In 1975 he went on tour in Shusha's band along with Lori Lieberman and Dimitri Van Toren to do gigs in Belgium and The Netherlands. A year later, in 1976, they contributed music to the documentary film People Of The Wind . The following year the film was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar and also for a Golden Globe. The film follows the annual migration of the nomadic Bakhtiaritribes in southern Iran. The soundtrack was later released on vinyl in the USA called 'G.T. Moore & Shusha - People of the Wind ' (1976). He also wrote songs for and with her, the song 'Natalia' - a song dedicated to Natalya Gorbanevskaya, called "Natalia"which he wrote together with Shusha and Roy Apps and eventually got covered by Joan Baez in 1976 on her live album From Every Stage. (Shusha had released it on her own album before in 1974) Around the same time he also made an album together with Stanley Haywood and Peter Eden as The Eden Electronic Ensemble plays Scott Joplin. Which was basicly Scott Joplin music but played on the recently come out mini-moog.
Some time later in 1983 Heron got back together and recorded another album in Steve Jone's house in Maidenhead called 'Open Up The Road'. With 'new' songs by both Gerald Moore and Roy Apps, which were rarely been performed live, alongside interpretations of proven folk songs. It was released on a casette and is now available online. Early 2010 the original line up started to record a new album for the Japanese record label 'air mail recordings'. The album was released on the 11th of august 2011 called 'Simple As One Two Three'. A Japanese tour was planned but because of the problems the earthquake caused the tour was cancelled. Before the album release they did another concert in England. Currently having finished an accoustic Dylan album called 'Jokerman: Songs of Bob Dylan' which was released in Japan in May 2016. (Wasabi Records)
In the spring of 1973 a new reggae band was formed, 'G.T. Moore & The Reggae Guitars'. The lineup included Tom Whyte, Martin Hayward, Malcolm Mortimer, Tony Hannaford, Tom Robinson and Tim Jones. But there were several variations of their band with guest musicians like John 'Rabbit' Bundrick (The Who), Steve Holly (Paul Mcartney & The Wings) and Tony Braunagle. At some point they had two drummers, congas and a three-piece brass section. They started of on the Pub Rock circuit but grew fastly to eventially play gigs all over the country and in Europe. Signing the 'Charisma' label to bring out 2 albums: 'G.T. Moore & The Reggae Guitars' (1974) and 'Reggae Blue' (1975). Attracting both white and black fans touring with Jimmy Cliff, Betty Wright, Thin Lizzy and Dr Feelgood. An American launch was set up and a mix of live and studio material was released in America but shortly after, in 1977, the band split up. A third studio album was recorded but never got released. The unreleased songs are planned to be released along with other unreleased live recordings of The Reggae Guitars. Later in 1979, Brazilian musician Arto Moreiro did a cover of 'Move It On Up' a song taken from his first reggae album. In 1985 he covered this again featuring Flora Pumin.
After the split up, Gerald started focusing on working as a session guitar player. He went over to America to play on Johnny Nash's 'Tears On My Pillow'. In this same period he was also playing live gigs with John Rabbit Bundrick, Terry Wilson and Tony Braunagel as: The Rhythm Tramps. They played almost exclusively in Europe, mainly Amsterdam. They only recorded one christmas reggae album togerher composed of christmas songs recorded back in 1975 which was eventually released in 2010 called 'Christmas Reggae Sandwich' (Singing Donkey Records) and G.T.'s also playing guitar on Taste Of Your Love featured on 'The Rhythm Guys Behind Crawler'. (Singing Donkey Records)
Eventually Gerald started living in Amsterdam. It's there he met Henk Targowski, who was then working at the famous coffeeshop 'de Melkweg'. Henk was the former of 'Black Star Liner', a distribution company and record label with the purpose of releasing Jamaica's best producers. Recently visiting Lee 'Scratch' Perry , Henk had to find session players for his new Upsetters album, so he asked Gerald and some of the Rhythm tramps to do an audition. The audition went good. The album would be recorded in Perry's Black Arc Studio in Kingston so a trip to Jamaïca was set up. Musicians added to the entourage included former Rhythm Tramps keyboardist James Lascelles and saxophonist Bud Beadle, a former member of Geno Washington's Ram Jam Band. While they were there allot turned out chaoticly and it took a while before they started recording the album. But still constantly music was played with or without Perry. Lots of other musicians like Joe Higgs, Rico Rodriguez, Max Romeo, Dwight Pickney would come around to the studio. Meanwhile Gerald was also doing sessions with Zap Pow at Harry J's and with Sly & Robbie at Channel One. He also recorded 'Utopia' at Harry J's, which was released on Black Star Liner Records in 1980 and was recently rereleased on 7" vinyl by Partial Records in June, 2014.
Back in Europe he did some session work on Poly Stirene's album 'Transluscense' and on some other tracks (Silly Billy, What A Way) that were recently released on a recent anthology album.. In that sale period he also produced an EP for Mosiah (Rumours of War) and also some instrument sessions for Christopher Jones album No More Range To Roam. Working with "proper" reggae musicians while he was in Jamaica was for him very liberating. When he got back to Europe he wanted to continue that. This time he didn't want to acknowledge the world of rock and pop but concentrate on an authentic Jamaican sound with original melodies, a strong driving beat and free flowing soloists. So inspired by his Jamaican experience, he returned to form The Outsiders, a large scale-touring band complete with horn section. They gigged extensively around Europe during the early 1980 's, recording a studio album that was sadly never released. In 2016 we released a selection of some of the tunes that were recorded for a live set at Radio 1 Hilversum (VPRO) in 1982 called: Selections '81.
At that time there was a steady flow of musicians going back and forward from Amsterdam to Paris. Gerald stayed at a halfway house with some members of a band called The Phantom Orchestra and eventually managed to rent a house in Sint-Genesius-Rode just outside Brussels. At this point he decided to give up music at least for a little while concentrating on painting and art. After some time in limbo, Gerald and his fiancé went back to London. Initially to play some club dates with Eric Burdon. But eventually to build and run a studio in Notting Hill Gate called Mangrove studio. Many of the local reggae singers like Alton Ellis, Bob Andy, Bim Sherman but also more trendy inhabitants of Notting Hill like Wendy James and Transvision Vamp would hang out. After three years of high-pressure studio work Gerald decided to hit the road again.
After mangrove studios had been running for some time Gerald invited his old mate Dirk Van Gansbeeke to come over to record with his band K13 from Belgium. After so many years 24 hours in the studio he jumped at the chance of touring Belgium with a three piece Hendrix-style band. This was the beginning of the Beat Popes. The original line up was Gerald on guitar, Dirk Van Gansbeeke on drums and Fons Simoens on Bass. Gerald became very involved with K13. Producing albums and singles and filming and promoting the band. But everything went pear shaped when Patrick Rigel and Fons Sijmoens left the band to join The Scabs. In the Beat Popes, Fons Sijmoens was replaced by Dolf Wolf.
The band evolved into playing several different styles of music. But always as a trio. When Dirk Van Gansbeeke died suddenly in a car accident after a gig Fons came back on bass and Dolf Wolf played drums. But the band didn’t survive Dirk’s death and ran out of steam and eventually broke up when Dolf went to studie Indian music in India.
Back in England Gerald was working on new reggae material together with Rej Forte and Martin Campbell at Channel One UK what was to be 'The Outsider Meets The Hi-Tech-Roots Dynamics'. (1991)
An instrumental roots-reggae album with melodica themes and dubs. Later in 1995 another 10" single was released 'Turn Israel / King David's Dub'. 'Jerusalem' a song taken from The Outsider album was recently released along with a dub version on 7" vinyl by Partial Records. Gerald continued to work with Rej Forte throughout the nineties from time to time. Resulting in another album called Ganja Flower (released in 2005) and a 10" and 12" EP release. (Ganja Flower, Herb From Africa, Secret Love)
In the early nineties some more session work on Wigbert's album (Ticket In De Nachtkastla) in Belgium and work with Radical Dance Faction (Wasteland) and David Hughes (Curtains, Active In The Parish) in England. In this period Gerald also started gigging and recording with the scottisch singer Brian Nelson. Playing on and producing his album from 1995 called Beautiful Losers.
Later on Gerald started playing with The McGuinness Brothers, a celtic/folk oriented ensemble that bring their interpretation of traditional music. Playing in and around the area of Gent for some years, also doing some recording sessions. But they were never released and eventually in 2015 the band reformed with the original line-up (Benito Blancquaert, Reinhard Vanbergen) plus keyboard player James Lascelles, to do gigs in Belgium and having recorded an album that's expected to be released in 2016.
In July 2004 the southend based ska band 'The Goldmaster Allstars' contacted GT to come over and record some of his tunes with the band. Later in 2010 the cd 'Alpha' was released from old studio material made during his stay in the Goldmaster studios in Leigh. As result: the Goldmasters horn section combined with a tight rhythm section smoothly blended with G.T.'s guitar and vocals. Still doing occasional gigs in the UK they've planned to record a new album. At the Brit Reggae Awards inn 2013 The Goldmaster Allstars received the nomination of 'Best Brittish Reggae Band'.
A new roots album with The Goldmaster Allstars called 'Rasta Shadow' wich also features James Lascelles on keyboards is in the make and should come out by the end of the year.
In 2010 Gerald returned to Belgium, initially to support the Belgian reggae band The Irie Vibes Band to do a handfull of gigs in Belgium and Holland and they did a small UK tour in the summer.
Later in 2011, Gerald teamed up with some members of the Belgian reggae band Pura Vida – led by multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Bregt De Boever – who have previously worked with well-known lead roots singers and groups such as The Congos, Prince Alla, Sylford Walker and Congo Ashanti Roy. In 2013 their first recordings together resulted in 'Seek The Kingdom First' by G.T. Moore & The Lost Ark Band and just recently Partial Records UK pressed up two tunes (Be True + One Two Three + Dubs) of the album on 12" Vinyl.
Having done a few gigs with friends from when GT started his career, they have plans on recording a new album in the next year coming up. G.T. Moore & The Roots Connection consists of the great and renown session musicians : James Lascelles (Frank Zappa, Joan Armatrading, ...) on keyboards, Kuma Harada (Peter Green, Mick Taylor, ...) on bass and Richard Bailey (Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood, Bob Marley,... ) on drums. Also occasionally playing guitar with The James Lascelles Quartet on gigs in the UK.
Throughout his career Gerald has worked with some of the finest musicians and producers, here’s a list to mention a few: Lee ‘Scratch' Perry, Isaac Guillory (The Crying Shames), Ray Dorsett (Mungo Jerry), John ‘Rabbit' Bundrick (The Who), Cornell Marshall (Third World, Israel Vibration), Johnny Nash, Eric Burdon (The Animals), Paul Buckmaster (Elton John, Miles Davis), Steve Holley (Paul McCartney and Wings), Tony Platt (Bob Marley, Toots and The Maytalls), Kuma Harada (Snowy White, Peter Green), Richard Bailey (Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood), James Lascelles (Steve Harley, Frank Zappa), Dr John, Keith Hudson, Mick Jacques (Rico Rodriguez, Curved Air), Zoot Money, Viv Stanshall (Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band), Franky Miller, Max Middleton, Gerry Conway and Pat Donaldson (Cat Stevens, Fotheringay), Cliff Aungier, Raphael Ravenscroft (Gerry Rafferty), B.J. Cole, Jo Partridge (Elton John), David Hughes, ...
"GT's first reggae record, not a cd, introduced me to reggae music way before I ever heard Bob Marley."
Fred Tackett (Little Feat)
"Mr. Moore is one of the very few white men who truly know how to play reggae music with brilliancy, talent and full sense of rhythm."
Marco Antonio Rosa
"G.T. Moore has been making Reggae music for the last thirty years. His Reggae Guitars band were the first white group to successfully create an authentic reggae sound, producing two albums for the major label Charisma in the early seventies."