Professor moonlights as Moose

Professor moonlights as Moose

By Jake Saunder

To some SIU students, Doug Anderson might simply be the man who passes back their philosophy midterm.

However, outside the classroom, he plucks the strings of a different philosophy: music. Anderson is Ol’ Moose, an area musician, active since the 70s. His stylings resemble the folk sounds of soft Americana rock sounds that perfectly match his honest and earnest voice.

“It’s fun to make other people have fun. It’s relaxing and enjoyable. Last week, we played at Rustle Hill and there were a lot of dancers and the music just gives good energy,” he said.


Anderson often plays at area wineries and was at Starview Vineyards Saturday. Since last August, the winery has found itself in the hands of new owners, Brett, who has had experience in the wine industry for over 16 years, and Regina Morrison.

“Doug is (in) Ol’ Moose and Friends, Bone Dry River Band, he also plays solo and his son has a new band, and we have them out here almost monthly,” said Regina Morrison, who is responsible for booking the music.

Ol’ Moose’s music consists of cover songs of artists ranging from Simon and Garfunkel to the Grateful Dead, as well as original pieces.

“We love having them. They have a great following and we’ve gotten to know their fans and we love their music,” Regina Morrison said. “So we enjoy when it’s their weekend to play here.”

The composition of the voice and strings rise together like a smooth sail on a floating vessel. One guitar palm-mutes and strums while another, played by Anderson’s son, Marshall, hits the high notes and then falls into the bass notes, and simultaneously the rhythm drifts and carries their songs away.

The strings whip and course like an undercurrent of musical backbone and hold the composition together in an energetic way. The voices sway together and create a monophonic harmony. Their sound lifts like sails that stream along the waves of song so deliberate and soft.

The rivers meet and as the voice soothes and swoons over the strings, a violin, played by Becca Perry, glides in as gentle as a bird that beats its feathers over a brackish surf. Like Perry, many area musicians spread their time between different projects, Anderson said.


“Playing (in bands involves) a lot of mix-and-match musicians, but most musicians in town do that,” Anderson said. “We’ll have Becca Perry, who was one of the leads in the Vivaldi concert last week, play with us, then she’ll run down and play for Die Fledermaus, the operetta on campus.”

The violin rhythm patterns, though not always accompanying Ol’ Moose, are perfectly harmonious, and Saturday’s performance was more subdued, he said.

“I’ve been playing here sometimes with a big band and we can make a lot of rock and roll noise,” Anderson said. “Today, we’re just going to be playing quiet acoustics.”

Ol’ Moose will also release a new album, his second, within the next month, he said.

“I played a lot in the old days on old vinyl records with friends, and their starting to redo that now,” Anderson said. “I think The County Graves band that I play with is going to be recording in the next couple weeks and they’re going to do at least part of it on vinyl.”

The music of Old Moose may be found across YouTube or at his frequent performances at the local wineries along the wine trails. The cadence and ambiance that Old Moose creates leaves a longing and, as honest as it is, one can sink into his melodies and unwind

“There’s an awesome atmosphere (Ol’ Moose and Friends) bring with them. It draws people from this area because of the type of music and ability to come here, relax and forget all their worries at home and just have a nice day out,” Brett Morrison said. “I think Doug and all of his acquaintances really help that happen.”