SoLost: Discovering a Visionary Hermit Musician-Artist

By  |  March 28, 2019

David Moore (aka DayDay MoeMoe aka Umburkus) is—as they say—a unique bird. In this case, a bird with plumage of gorgeously stained wood panels, recycled oddities, strings (of the dulcimer variety) and no small quantity of what he—ever-so-delicately—describes as: "crap."

There’s a lot of crap. Beautiful crap. Not crap at all, really. Art. Instruments. A place to set your beer. You know.

How to describe our hero... Musician? Artist? Furniture maker? Visionary hermit? All-of-the-above? Yes, all-of-the-above. That would be it. Hidden away in a secretive corner of a haunted-looking house in the fading Delta cotton town of Rosedale, Mississippi, Mr. Moore seems equal parts R. Crumb, Daniel Johnston and Boo Radley—with a dose of PT Barnum thrown in.

Indeed, he’s a hard one to explain. The inquisitive, anarchic child of a family that once held considerable sway here, Moore now lives alone in a house covered in vines and filled with his own artwork alongside untold numbers of sweetly-unnerving semi-collectibles, a trusty dog and—of course—myriad musical instruments and furniture of his own invention; including his signature "Schizoid Zither" aka "Boing Box" aka "Buzzstick." But he's not just making them. He plays them too. And the music is spectacular.

Don’t pretend you’ve heard it before though. You haven’t. And don’t act like you’ll forget it. You won’t.

 


SoLost is an original video series by the Oxford American that celebrates getting lost in the American South. SoLost is an off-kilter video journey through the side roads, backrooms, cellars and psyche of the modern South. With subjects prospected by master image-maker and Southern back-roads champ Dave Anderson, we delight in the tastes, sounds and myriad cultural delights of this our glorious landscape. Join us every month as we unveil a new episode of SoLost: artful, online video shorts that explore the complexity and vitality of the American South.