PARKERSBURG - For those who have heard him, they say Anthony Mossburg makes music with soul.
More than 300 people came to the Smoot Theatre to hear Mossburg play a selection of songs from his new self-titled release during a release concert Thursday.
Many people knew the 27-year-old Mossburg from when he grew up in New Matamoras, Ohio. "I haven't been here for quite awhile," the 27-year-old musician said of the Smoot. "This is a beautiful place.
Photo by Brett Dunlap
Anthony Mossburg, originally of New Matamoras, Ohio, performs Thursday night at an album release concert at the Smoot Theatre in Parkersburg.
"It is going to be a fun night."
Mossburg was known to a lot of people as a football player from Frontier High School, but in college he found a love of music.
"I got into music at the end of college," he said. "I wanted to vent somehow and people started asking me to play at different places. It became more of a passion and it started to progress."
He has been writing and performing more for the last six or seven years.
Mossburg has released two other CDs within the Contemporary Christian genre.
"This one is not," he said. "I tried to let it be his own thing, rather than try to fit it into a category."
The influences of the album cover a wide range of interests from pop to country to acapella to singer-songwriter acoustic.
"I don't try to aim to be in one genre, I let it be what it will be," Mossburg said.
He performed 15 songs, with 10 from his new CD, a few covers for fun and more. He was joined at one point by Katelyn A. Read singing a duet.
"She is an artist in the beginning of her career," Mossburg said. "She has a great voice."
He was joined on another song by Cynthia Puls playing cello. Puls is a cello teacher in Parkersburg who has been playing for several years.
Smoot Director Felice Jorgeson said Mossburg has quite a following locally and this was the first time many people have been to the Smoot.
"The great thing is there are a lot of new people, new faces, names I have never seen before coming to the Smoot Theatre," she said. "Everyone was so pleasant and nice. That is a great thing."
Mossburg was happy so many people were interested in coming to see him.
"I have definitely played some shows where there were only five people," he said with a laugh. "Any time people show up to an event, I am very thankful."
Many of the people who attended remember Mossburg before he was a performer.
Patrick Hanel of Marietta coached Mossburg in junior high football.
"He has a lot of soul," Hanel said. "A lot of his music comes from within him.
"He has a very good deep voice. His lyrics are really good."
Alice Hurt of New Matamoras was Mossburg's neighbor.
"I like his voice and the message in his songs," she said.
Tara Hays of Newport was one of Mossburg's teachers in the seventh and eighth grades.
"It is kind of a surprise to see him do this, because he was never that way when he was younger," she said with a chuckle. "He was quiet and a great football player."
She has seen him perform before at Cedar Point in Ohio.
"His music is just soulful and we are here to support him," she said.