Once projected by Bluebird Cafe owner Amy Kurland to be one of those in the next wave of great songwriters, Texas born and bred songwriter Mike “Moose” Mahaffey had tens of dozens of songs not recorded by major artists including Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Clint Black, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood and others after moving to Nashville in 1986. After keeping a vow of poverty for three years, he left the rigors of co-writing, pitching songs and hanging out at the Tavern On the Row and disappeared (virtually unnoticed) from the legions of aspiring commercial country songwriters who were knocking on doors on Music Row in favor of feeding, educating and clothing his children, shortly after his second grade son came home from a friend's house one afternoon sporting a Mister T necklace and a Sharpie-drawn tattoo that read, "Yo Mama!."
He continued to write and remained a semi-regular at early bird in-the-rounds at legendary establishments The Bluebird Café and Douglas Corner Café throughout the late 80s and the 90s, garnering a reputation with accomplished writers and publishers familiar with his work as a dyed-in-the-wool, authentic, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, put-your-toes-to-tapping, tear-your-heart-out, make-you-think-about-it, bona fide, pure-dee, what-the-heck-are-you-still-doing-in-Nashville Texas songwriter. But, what happened during the next twenty years is part of “The Mystery of the Moose.” Where was he? What was he doing? At least part of the answers to these questions and more are found in the songs on The Outlaw in Me, now available to the entire world via the wonders of modern technology. If you like bro country, you’re probably not going to go for this. If you dig Texas genre music, you’ll definitely want to give it a listen, download some of it, tell your friends about him and catch him live sometime.