Singer-songwriter-guitarist Avilda Moore began composing on guitar at the age of 6 and by the time she was 10, never traveled anywhere without her tape recorder, always ready to capture new ideas.
The granddaughter of a classically trained singer who recorded gospel/religious music on the infamous New York-based Okeh Records label in the 1920s, Moore always knew she would end up a musician. Performing at age 12 with a youth folk group led to singing in the church choir, followed by roles in middle-school operettas and high-school musicals. When she left New England to attend university in Rochester, New York, she quickly ended up playing, singing and writing for several bands, performing blues, folk, R&B and eventually, bluegrass repertoires.
After graduating with a Fine Arts degree, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she continued to perform in bluegrass and in small folk groups, all the while soaking up the local musical vibes of the time – country singer-songwriting, blues and jazz in local night spots, indie artists such as the Indigo Girls, feisty Southern rock and traditional music at countless weekend festivals.
Moore eventually wound up back in the Northeast where she continued to perform as a solo singer-songwriter. After several years as a member of trad duo Jeter le Pont (with Franco-American legend Martha Pellerin), she met her current partner and moved to the trad-centric Lanaudière region of Québec.
After a hiatus as a solo performer – but all the while playing in various Québec bands, including Dentdelion, Mil and her current duo Zigue – she continued to compose songs in both English and French, made a few recordings, and encouraged by the reaction, in 2016 began working on a new project to showcase her by now large repertoire of originals. Moore enlisted local veterans Claude Joly (drums), Marc Benoît (upright bass) and up-and-coming pianist Olivier Beaulieu to round out her new sound. Moore’s deep ties to the traditional music scene have certainly influenced and become a part of her own retro leanings. Living in French-speaking Québec has led her to compose easily in both French and English, her repertoire revealing a rich and palette of blues, R&B, folk-rock and other roots influences.
As a lyricist, Moore’s writing ranges from poetically contemporary to nostalgic, with a tip of the hat to country swing and the R&B of her childhood. It can seem an unlikely blend – think Laura Nyro meets Patsy Cline on the way to the disco – yet somehow it just works, grooving along with refreshing originality.
Moore’s début album is slated for 2018 and some of her songs can already by heard on other recordings, including those of young folk-trad band Les Poules à Colin, which includes her daughter Béatrix Méthé.