Tonight: Proud Valletta aims for a legacy | Music | Indy Week
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tonight: Proud Valletta aims for a legacy

Posted by on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 4:40 PM

"As my children get older, I started thinking about what I was going to leave behind or pass on to them—how they're going to remember me," says Tofer Moran, graphic designer, father of two and singer/guitarist of Durham's Proud Valletta. "I hoped to leave behind a sort of anthology of music for or inspired by my sons as a kind of patrimony," Moran continues. "Music is something that can live on, hopefully, long after I'm gone, and it's my hope that they'll be able to have some of my music to mark the days we have together."

With his wife Vye Moran on percussion and vocals, childhood friend Paul Boccaccio on accordion and pals Brentley Cobb and Andrew "Shoe" Shoemaker adding a host of stringed and percussive sounds, Tofer Moran began crafting uncomplicated indie folk with simple melodies and shanty qualities suggested by the rickety foundations behind the nautically inspired tales. Borne out of Dapper Dandy and The Good Day Sirs!, a project involving the Morans and Boccaccio that recorded a "folk-opera retelling of the Pied Piper story" as Reckoning, its sole release, the new outfit borrowed songs from the old and began busking outside the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Despite being "constantly hounded by the yellow security guards on segways," Tofer Moran enjoyed the impromptu performances. "It was a lot of fun when little kids would come up and dance around our guitar cases," he remembers, those reactions held in sharp contrast to the "stoic faces" of the DBAP security personnel. Still wet behind the ears, the still-unnamed group was invited to open for Ponchos From Peru—Cobb's former band—and Durham's Ghost Cats in late August as a last-minute addition to a show at The Pinhook. The quintet had a marathon rehearsal the night before the gig in order to throw together a five-song set. They were encouraged with the response. "No one booed us off the stage, so we saw it as a victory," Moran recalls, praising the openness of Durham's music community.

Leading up to what Proud Valletta is calling its first real show, the band now has a name, inspired by a chapter from Thomas Pynchon's 1963 novel V, the city of Valletta and—fittingly—"the memoirs of fathers and children" who called it home. "It all kind of goes back to the idea of generations, time, heritage and parenthood," explains Moran. More importantly, their hobby turned semi-serious pursuit is starting to inspire Moran's three-year old son, Mickey, a rookie drummer who plays along to vintage footage of The Beatles. But it's not quite time to join mom and dad's band just yet, Tofer Moran adds. "He hasn't quite gotten the counting-off part right—he usually yells "1-2-5!" as he clicks the sticks together over his head."

Proud Valletta and Ghost Cats play The Cave Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 10 p.m. The show has a $5 cover.


Pin It


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music

Twitter Activity


Thank you so much for these clips; it was a special show.

by Gee Funk on Video: William Tyler and Jake Xerxes Fussell Team Up in Durham (Music)

Billy Strings was amazing as well!

by Brian Moyer on A Look Back at Merlefest 2016 (Music)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation