Saying yes, being positive, it is a way of life, a way of living, a choice is how TJ Moss of The Yes Team described the band’s adopted life motto. The Yes Team is a triad of talented artists who cannot only harmonize three individual voices into a singular voice but also create upbeat and life affirming music that makes the listener smile and feel just a bit better about the world in general. The Yes Team has been working relentlessly in the San Diego music scene to spread their message and give back to the people who have lifted them up, as well as any others they might come into contact with.
TJ Moss and best friend Kinnie Dye connected while attending college for Music and Arts in Oklahoma and formed the TJ Moss Band; after graduating the pair moved to New York in pursuit of the arts. The duet then met Johnathan Walsh who had relocated from Virginia after college to New York in pursuit of his solo career. The Yes Team entered its beginning stages in 2008 after suffering one too many cold New England winters; TJ worked to form a plan to move to San Diego in pursuit brighter days and longer summers. Kinnie and Jonathan were invited along for the adventure; which they eagerly accepted. The infancy of the Yes Team took form when the three musicians began to sing together in San Diego and realized that they shared a common thread; “they were all positive people who wanted to be a positive force and bring hope to people.” Thus the Yes Team was formed. The struggle of relocating across the country to be full time musicians was a difficult one for the group that was quickly realized; they spent much of the first year travelling back and forth between New York and California and many nights were spent sleeping in their shared purple van. In 2010, things took a spin in the right direction for the struggling band. At an Open Mic Night at the popular Rebecca’s Coffee House in South Park, the team showed up to try to score a performance but had they already missed the opportunity to put their name on the full list for the evening. Jackson Price, a regular at the coffeehouse and well-known performer, was not feeling up to performing that evening and offered the group his prime hour stage spot. The Yes Team took the stage and dazzled a full house with their on-point harmonies, chill vibe, and sway-worthy tunes. The unknown band wowed the established local music talent, including two noteworthy soon-to-be-friends Brian Bosen of Bosen and Suede, who was working sound that night, and Jackson Price. Bosen and Price befriended the band that night and Price later invited the Yes Team to accompany him on tour. The fledgling Yes Team lived hand to mouth as they created a name for themselves and kept to the optimistic message they spread. The band laid roots into their transplanted home of San Diego, singing at farmer’s markets, on the streets, and along the piers of Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. They were able to create a loyal fan base that included the welcoming music community that continued to lead them through the ropes and lend support in their endeavors. The three friends were finally able to achieve a goal in 2011 they had set years ago, which was to commit themselves to working exclusively on their music. The Yes Team worked as full-time musicians while sharing an apartment and spent most of their days and nights together. All three members wholly dedicated themselves to the band and, in an exciting trip to Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan for one of the band’s first booked shows; the three members all had matching “yes” tattoos inked onto their wrists. The friendships in the music scene grew fast and strong as the likable trio worked to build a name for themselves. The close knit music scene of San Diego is unlike most music environments found elsewhere; it is a tightly woven group of friends who help and support each other in the ups and downs of the tricky music biz. The Yes Team has taken the positivity shared with them by fellow musicians and fans to heart and continued to build on their lifelong theme they live, as well as sing, by.
Although much time is devoted to promoting and performing, the team still finds time to spread some good and have some fun. After taking a hiatus from street singing for a period, the Yes Team recently started taking to the pavement again. They shared a fond memory of singing at Ocean Beach where a homeless gentleman known only as “Star” heard their performance and decided to stand up and sing with them. Rather than discourage the man from joining in, the team welcomed his addition and continued to sing along with him. As the group of gathered listeners laughed and listened, everyone present was able to enjoy the opportunity to share the music together without judgment or the belittling of anyone. That is the feeling the Yes Team strives to provide with every show, performance, and interaction – the feeling of harmony and unity among all people from all walks of life. Whether they are on the streets or on a stage, the vibe from the Yes Team remains the same; they are a group of friends, with an astounding talent, who are always looking for more friends to join the party.
When I had the opportunity to catch up with them at 710 Ocean Club in Ocean Beach, held for the band and their friends Bosen and Suede, was more of a party among San Diego’s up-and-coming talent rather than a concert. Bosen had travelled down from San Francisco to perform with his counterpart, local musician Craig Furnivall, to form Bosen and Suede once again and the duo rocked the club before the Yes Team took stage. The Yes Team’s carefree and free flowing vibe on stage appeared to pour over the crowd and somehow spread a little more love and joy around the venue. The audience of fellow musicians and random audience members hugged, danced, and sang together. Songs were belted out including the Yes Team’s popular melodies like “Merrily,” a song describing rolling through life and just being happy; “Life is Good”; and the single from the soon to be released album, Provided, which captures the feeling of gratitude the team feels toward their friends and fans for helping to fund their newest record as well as support the music. While vibing on stage, the team took time out to promote their third EP that is currently being worked on in the studio. This album, which is being produced by the gifted Jeff Berkley, has been the Yes Team’s “all in album.” The most recent EP is a huge project for the Yes Team and it has been fully funded by fans, friends, donations, gifts, and even some creative marketing. During the show, a raffle was being held that allowed the audience members the opportunity to buy tickets. As the show finale, prizes of Yes Team merchandise, albums, and singles were won and handed out. The last performance of the evening consisted of the Yes Team calling Bosen and Suede up to the stage to join them in a song titled “Evolution.” The full stage was met with howls of joy from the crowd as everyone jumped to their feet, clapped, danced, and sang together once more. After the show, the party atmosphere ensued as the Yes Team met their friends and fans alike with hugs and thanks, ever the grateful hosts. The Yes Team has fully evolved into a San Diego favorite among the community and each member has managed to maintain a creative and easy going persona that makes them feel not just like a group of friends performing together but a group of your friends performing. The desire to see this group succeed is second nature to anyone who has had the pleasure of associating with them. So say yes to everything this group represents: love, acceptance, and unity through harmony but as Jonathan stated, “Please practice safe yessing.”
Donations to the Yes Team’s new album can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org through PayPal as well as contacting the band through Facebook. They also offer advance album purchasing options.
Catch the Yes Team at their upcoming shows around town: Sunday, June 1 at the Universal Spiritual Center, 10am; Saturday, June 7 at the Universal Spiritual Center, 7:30pm; Sunday, June 8 at the Om spiritual Center, 10am; Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21 at Rock Canyon Vinyards, 6pm; and. The steadfast fans and friends on the East Coast have not been forgotten as the team has made eight national tours and will be starting their ninth tour this summer; they continue their summertime tradition of spreading the love in a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to perform.