Tuck played music around the Bay Area for five to six years until the blues music slowed down. A friend of his, Pat
Chase, also known as Guitar Slim and known in the Bay Area first, had moved to Seattle. Tuck came up to play with
him in Pioneer Square one time, and then moved to Seattle. Tuck had met his wife of now 25 years in Mountain View
where they had two sons, but soon they all moved up here. Her family was from Yakima, and they settled there
successful band called The Howlers in 1998 which won IBC awards.Tuck says he and guitar player Harry Rober
started this band, of course with a bass player and drummer. At the time they were “just four guys with a passion to
get their foot in the door and play some shows in places they had never heard the blues before.” They probably
should have played other kinds of music in these places, but people realized they were entertainers and accepted
them; because they had really learned their stuff and could put it out there, people realized they were the real deal.
In 2005 he won our IEBS Performer of the Year, which that year could be male or female, as well as Best Harmonica
and Best Male Vocalist. However, at this time the group disbanded as Tuck was fighting his own demons with an
alcoholic problem, He had decided he would have to take some time away from being a working musician in order to
recover from a lifetime of alcoholism. Now with ten years sober he says he is better. He still did some jams, as he
could not put his music down all the way.
In 2010 he founded his new band and they decided to rehearse for one year before going out to play. The deal was
that they would learn all new songs and not use anything that they had done before. One of the challenges was
where to find blues players in Yakima. Yeah, we were wondering about that. Tuck says he recruited guys from the
area jams that were already really good on their instruments, and the thing they had in common was the desire to
play the blues and learn it right. Tuck says he converted them all. He “took the reins, ‘cause someone had to do it.”
He started out with an amazing guitar player who was proficient at playing Van Halen solos, his bass player a surf
guitarist, and his drummer who had played a lot of classic rock. But they knew how to listen to recordings and pick
them apart, and they did so, bringing them in five or six tunes at a time each week or so for a year. When they
started playing, that first year they did 105 shows. He says there are not as many shows these days as when they
started, as times have been a little tougher for the clubs, but there are still enough to keep them going.
And now how about that name “The Mossrites.” It started out as Mosrites because the guys played Moserite guitars,
but everyone kept mispronouncing the name. It is not pronounced Mo srites with the Mo sound. It is Moss rites. And
it made sense because of the bass player’s name, Pat Moss. That is a good enough reason. The positive energy of
these players is what brought this band into being. The other thing is how well they have gotten along while
rehearsing, riding, and performing together. Everywhere they play they have to go somewhere, as they do zero
shows in their hometown. Tuck says he is very appreciative to his fellow bandmates for their level of commitment,
great chemistry and how they look out for each other.
The band’s music continues in the Chicago style, which is one vocalist with a harmonica backed up by guitar, drums
and vocals. Their music he describes like apples and oranges, a mix of great sounds. He says of course it has that
special late ‘60’s West Side Chicago sound, and if you think of Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Paul Butterfield, or Magic
Sam you get close; and yet there is something funky about it like a bit of Albert King thrown in. Most of all it is very
danceable with lots of energy, and you can’t sit still. Tuck says with the blues there is honor in doing covers, and
eventually they tend to make the songs their own. He says to listen for their funky version of “Crosscut Saw.”
For their future, Tuck says they all have the same vision. They are all retired from their day jobs, and they see
themselves continuing to play the blues whenever they get gigs. They continue their habit of bringing fresh material
to practice, and because they do they still are as excited about it as from the beginning. We think this is a band all
you blues lovers will really wanted to hear, and it is a real treat to have had Tuck and the guys venture over here in
February from Yakima.
Tuck Foster & The Mossrites
February 2015 Blues Boogie Band
By Anita Royce
Our February Blues Boogie band was none other
than Tuck Foster & the Mossrites Tuck is on
vocals and harp, Jason Moore on guitar, Patrick
Moss on bass, and on drums Mark Geho. In 2014
Tuck won Empire Awards for Best Male Vocalist
and Best Harmonica, and we are really excited to
have him and his Mossrites at our Boogie. After a
great telephone interview with Tuck, this is what I
came up with.
Tuck Foster comes from Chicago where he was
exposed to the area’s style of blues early on. He
joined the Navy right out of high school and what
was going on in that with the blues boom in the
mid ‘80’s in the Bay Area. In the town of Mountain
View near San Jose in a club called JJ’s he and
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers started a jam.
You never know who will come to a jam, and lots
of great players came through. One night John
Lee Hooker came in.
Photo by Carl Speer