Hotel Oscar Crafting Genuine Music
October 11, 2013 by Jill Tanner
As I walked into the Funky Blues Shack in Destin to sit down with Hotel Oscar, they were jammin’ out on stage – playing a Miles Davis. The dark empty bar during the middle of the day was brought to life by the jazzy, bluesy tune. It felt like the five guys that make up Hotel Oscar had been playing together forever – perfect chemistry and perfectly in sync - The crazy thing is, they haven’t been together long.
Back in March of 2011, Hotel Oscar was born. Mose and Clint are the two left from the original band. “We are ever evolving,” Clint let me know. Since then, they have been organically forming the Hotel Oscar we all know and love today. Since Adam, Issac, and Mike joined the group, the pieces have really come together for these multi-talented artists. The guys of Hotel Oscar are multi-instrumental as well, making it easy to create any sound they are looking for.
During a gig, Hotel Oscar plays about 25-30 songs and most are originals. They rarely play covers. They believe in originality, while bringing back the old-school feel of blues, jazz, rock, and folk – pure Americana.
A collaborative quote from Hotel Oscar – “We want to bring back the music. Bring back the sounds of Miles Davis, Chuck Berry, The Band, James Brown and anyone who made it for the music, not for the money. We want to keep the true art in music alive.”
From the band's website: "Built on friendship and a shared taste in music, Hotel Oscar is a rock n’ roll band that lets the music do the talking. Even their name was carefully chosen because it comes without preconceived notions, allowing the listener to reach their own conclusions."
Meet the band:
Mose Wilson, the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of Hotel Oscar, has played guitar his whole life, but “really started playing and creating music” when he was 16. Mose writes the music of Hotel Oscar and brings the “skeleton” to the table. The band collaborates and tries different things until they have solid gold. Mose is the sort of leader of the pack, keeping everyone on track. Of the somewhat new Hotel Oscar, Mose said, “It just feels good.”
Clint Moreland, the drummer, is the other original member of Hotel Oscar. He played music his whole life, but after high school, decided to put in down for a while. After trying a little bit of everything else, music found Clint again. He began playing in Destin on the harbor until he met Mose and Hotel Oscar was born.
Isaac Eady moved from Tennessee to Destin in January after Mose called him and let him in on Hotel Oscar. Isaac was playing drums in a band there, but Mose knew he could play other instruments and he wanted Isaac’s talent. Isaac and Mose are from the same hometown in Tennessee and their first connection, way back when, was when Isaac got Mose tuned into the blues. Now, they are able to share that passion on stage.
Mike Ingram, originally from Memphis, moved to Destin in the 1st grade. Also a longtime musician, Mike was playing in another band as lead guitarist and singer just this year, when he found Hotel Oscar. The guys all hit it off and it seemed like a perfect fit for them. Now Mike plays bass guitar for Hotel Oscar.
Adam Cooper, a life long native of the Gulf Coast, is also a multi-instrumental musician, playing the saxophone, oboe, and bassoon. He finished college with a degree in exercise science, but after a year of doing personal training, he realized his life-long passion for music wasn’t going away. Adam sat in with Hotel Oscar one night in Pensacola on a whim and his talent blew the guys away. It was obvious that Adam would fit right into the band.
With four singers now in Hotel Oscar, the group can really bring out some incredible harmonies. They continue to be inspired by the places they visit and the musicians they love, such as Dr. Dog and Dr. John among many others. They got picked up by a booking agent, David Glassman, last fall and it has been a whirlwind ever since with gigs, tours, and recording.
Hotel Oscar currently has two albums – “Burgers and Fries” came out in 2011 and “Rock and Roll Graveyard” in 2013. “Rock and Roll Graveyard” was recorded in Nashville at the Bombshelter Studios. Andrija Tokic was the engineer for the record. He was also the engineer for Alabama Shakes. He records using a pure analog method to give it an old school feel. They just finished a tour in Chicago and St. Louis and are heading way south to Key West for a tour in December.
The guys are on the road a lot right now, but return once a month to play at either Funky Blues Shack or Pandora’s in Grayton Beach. Chuck Styles, owner of The Funky Blues Shack, lets Hotel Oscar rehearse there when they are in town. The guys are returning home for a blow out weekend, playing Oct. 17 at Pandora’s in Grayton Beach and Oct. 18 and 19 at Funky Blues Shack in Destin. This is your opportunity to see them before they take off to stardom.
Hotel Oscar is also set to turn up the volume this Halloween at Pandora’s in Grayton Beach. The guys will take the stage at 9 and rock the house for hours. Wear you best costume and get ready to party. A Hotel Oscar Halloween t-shirt made just for that party will be available for purchase and there will be a t-shirt giveaway that night.
Right before I left the interview with Hotel Oscar, they offered to play me an original, unreleased song. Yes please. When they started, I sat back and listened to these five unbelievably talented musicians play me a tune I will remember for years to come. These guys are cool, honest, open, and I can easily see them taking off very soon.
Find out when Hotel Oscar is coming to town on the SoWal Live Music Calendar.