I bought my first Jacob Moon album, Landing, back in 2002. I was blown away by his music. His distinctive voice complimented his songwriting skills in a way that compelled me to think he’d soon gain wide acclaim and success that one would expect from such talent.
The type of success I envisioned for him didn’t come to be as so many anticipated.
It’s not to say that he isn’t successful. He is. Especially when one understands how challenging it is for a musician to make a living doing what they love. He’s been doing this for twenty-five years now. Doing what he loves. Creating music, we get to enjoy.
He’s earned his place and respect in the music industry, which was echoed by his selection as one of the recording artists to headline the Hamilton Originals series at the Westdale Theatre. Other artists that were similarly honoured in this series were Daniel Lanois, Tera Lightfoot, Tom Wilson, and Rik Emmet from Triumph.
His biggest exposure has come from his cover of Rush’s Subdivisions. In addition to the viral views of his amazing cover, it garnered the attention and praise of the Rush trio itself, gaining high praise from Neil Peart, who wrote the song. He said,
“It’s such a beautiful cover. It’s superb. And it is that kind of song. It’s a singer-songwriter’s song. I loved to see his version of it and I loved the idea that song has endured to his generation.”
He was invited, by Rush, to perform Subdivisions at their induction into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
He’s earned praise from gifted artists such as Gordon Lightfoot and Ron Sexsmith. My favourite quote from a renowned musical artist is from Danny Miranda (bassist for Queen). He said,
“Tremendous command of the instrument…amazing voice. I can honestly say that I am overwhelmed by his music”.
It’s not hard to understand why one would be overwhelmed by Jacob Moon’s music. There’s a depth to his lyrics and soul to his melodies that grabs a deep hold of you and connects us.
At the Hamilton Originals concert, he spoke about how the pandemic had taken its toll on him and other musicians. He wondered if he could make it through these challenging times. Is there a place for what he has to offer? Was it time to quit, try something else? He still wonders.
I can’t begin to imagine how challenging it is for an independent musical artist like Jacob Moon to remain committed to his craft, to his desire to continue to create and share his music with the world, all the while still being able to financially support his family. I’ve long admired the creative ways he’s tried to make that happen. He does dozens of live shows a year in small venues, in non-pandemic years of course. He does home concerts. I’ve been to a few. They’re an amazing experience. He’s partnered with Patreon to provide creative ways for supporters to get involved. I encourage you to consider becoming a supporter, along with myself and others.
He’s been working his ass off for decades to find ways to make this gig last.
When one sees a talent like Jacob Moon it can be difficult to understand why a higher level of recognition hasn’t happened. It happens. We all know there are artists out there with much less talent and a much weaker music catalogue that have long and successful runs. It’s life.
My hope is that one day, somehow, things will align to grow his fanbase to the level his amazing talent as a singer-songwriter merits.
In the meantime, thank you, Jacob Moon, for your commitment to your artistry, to your community, to those of us who love your music.