An Interview With the Bay Area Musician, JACK MOSBACHER!
Posted On 10 Jul 2018
Bay Area musician Jack Mosbacher is getting ready to release an incredible EP for summertime called WHYNOT. The EP is made up of four incredible tracks originally written for and recorded by Mosbacher’s idol David Ruffin (of the Temptations).
These songs were part of a Ruffin solo album that was unfortunately shelved by Motown in the 70-’s due to Ruffin’s substance abuse problems. The album was released in 2004 with close to zero promotion. Mosbacher, who sole intention was a songwriter and performer is to make people happy, decided to pay tribute to his idol by shining light on some of these forgotten songs. He teamed up with Michael Eisenstein (Letters to Cleo, The Posies, Beck etc.) and a team of incredible musicians to breathe new life into these songs. The finish product is incredible.
For Jack, authenticity is key. Audiences are more educated, connected and responsive than ever. He trusts that they know when it’s real. He hopes to continue to spread light and bring people of all generations together. His genuine approach to music and paying respect to the incredibly inspiring artists that came before him is what matters most to him. With this EP, he wants to send a clear message of true respect and warmth.
Learn more ab out Jack Mosbacher in the following All Access interview:
Where does this interview find you now? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Believe it or not, I’m heading to work into the studio to record the beginnings of my next album. Two days after my most recent album came out, we’re already doing the new one. If that doesn’t capture this industry, I don’t know what does. But there’s nothing more exciting than the first day of tracking – it’s like the first day of school!
Overall, how do you think 2018 has been treating you and your music career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it?
My goal for this year was to reach one million listeners with my music, and so far we’re on track. I’m a very goal-oriented person, but I’m trying to focus everything I can on making art and music that will last.
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
My first musical memory was walking out onto the stage of the San Francisco Opera House at age 6 or 7 as a part of the children’s choir. The place felt impossibly huge; I went back recently and it turns out, it really is impossibly huge.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? Has there been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
Just how difficult it is to connect with new fans but how rewarding it is when you do. There are so many talented artists putting out music every day, it’s so hard to cut through with your unique voice and spin on things. But when you find someone who really gets attached to your music, it’s even more special.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today? What is the music scene like there these days? If you don’t think that it has affected you at all, why is that?
Unless you are a one-man band (which I certainly am not), your music is always influenced first and foremost, by the other musicians you play with. San Francisco is home for me, and there is a thriving jazz and blues scene there. Even though I don’t play traditional blues music, my band-mates spend most of their time in both of those worlds, and it certainly adds a spectacular dimension to my music that I never could have dreamed up.
I find it interesting that sometimes musicians choose to go by something other than their own name so why did you decide to go by your own name?
That is a question I get a lot – I guess Mosbacher is not exactly a tailor-made stage name. I am extremely proud of my family and my name feels like such a part of my identity. I’ve just never had the heart to change it.
Let’s talk about your newest music. What was it like putting together your new EP “WHYNOT”? Do you remember what it felt like the first time you heard it all the way through? Did anything surprise you about the overall process of making this EP?
It was an artistic dream. Michael Eisenstein, my producer, loves Motown as much as I do, and crowding all of these wonderful musicians into one room together and making a record the way they used to (all live in one room all together), was incredibly fulfilling and inspiring. The most enjoyable part, honestly, was how much the musicians enjoyed the recording process; I honestly think they were as excited as I was.
What are some your favorite tracks on “WHYNOT”? How did you pick which songs of David Ruffin of The Temptations to cover?
It’s funny, David’s record was not released until thirty years after it was recorded, and physical copies are extremely hard to come by. When I finally got one, I was surprised to see that all but one of the songs I had selected to cover were bonus tracks that weren’t even originally intended for the 1971 album. They were so brilliant, I have no idea how they could have been left on the cutting room floor, but then again, I have no idea how this record is not considered a classic of the era. So, what do I know? My favorite track on WHYNOT is “I’ve Got a Need for You,” because it is just the most joyous track we produced.
What do you think makes for an ideal show for you? What has been a favorite performance of yours so far?
My ideal show is one in a classic-feeling club with an old school vibe and an audience that is ready to dance and get lost in the joy of music and community. I did a residency at The Peppermint Club in West Hollywood this winter and spring that had all of that and more. It’s also a huge plus if the venue sounds good, and The Peppermint is co-owned by Interscope Records, so they certainly take pride in that.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period? If you don’t think it is, why is that? Would you say that other musicians are making music that has been influenced by this climate?
There is no question that art and music reflect the times, always. There are some wonderful artists out there that are making music of protest and awareness, and I am very grateful to them. I view my little role this way: in times of trial, we also need people who are celebrating what is good and still right in the world. I try to make music that will remind everyone that everything will be okay, that we’re all in it together, and that love and joy will always drive out darkness.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all?
I’m trying to embrace the social media aspect of the music business more. I’m sharing things that I hope have some artistic value and bring people into my world, the good and the not so good parts of making a living as an artist.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I am such an admirer of Donald Glover/Childish Gambino and Chance The Rapper. Those would be my bucket list collaborations of my generation. I also absolutely adore a few of the folk musicians making beautiful music out there today; I’d give anything to be in a room singing with Brandi Carlile or Langhorne Slim.
If you had all the money and time in the world, which one of your songs, new or old, would you make a music video for? What would the video be like?
Oh man. My song “The Second Time Around” was a real breakthrough for me, artistically and professionally. It’s a song about persistence in love, and I have such a soft spot for the senior community. This is weird to say out loud, but I think there’s nothing better than two people who have been married for five or more decades who still hold hands in public. I think I’d make a music video with as many adorable seniors as possible. And yes, again, I realize that I am weird.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
I would bring the little piano from my parents’ living room where I taught myself to play “Tiny Dancer.”
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
“Barry” on HBO has an incredible soul-fueled soundtrack that I just love. Also, I’d be pretty pumped if Donald Glover would put me on an “Atlanta” episode. And as far as movies go, I wish I could go back and do the soundtrack for “When Harry Met Sally,” though Harry Connick did a wonderful, wonderful job.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I hope to make the kind of music where my fans, thirty or fifty years down the road, are having a tough Monday morning and put on my music to cheer themselves up. That’s what is so special about recorded music: you never know when you might be an important positive part of someone’s day or life.
Where can our readers connect with you?
You can find my songs anywhere music is streamed or sold (Spotify, iTunes, etc) and online at
Thank you so much for your support!