What: Virgin Islands benefit concert with Larry and His Flask, Mosley Wotta, Hot Club of Bend, Kelcey Lassen Canfield

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Capitol, 190 NW Oregon Ave., Bend

Cost: $15 suggested donation

Contact: thecapitolbend.com or 541-678-5740

There’s nowhere to hide at a Mosley Wotta show — for the performers and audience alike.

That’s very much by design, according to MC Jason Graham and producer/DJ/guitarist/beatmaker Colten Tyler Williams, AKA Collothen, who have collaborated as a duo and in the band version of Mosley Wotta since 2009. These days, when Graham performs as Mosley Wotta, it’s usually just with Williams, and that simple setup has allowed the two musicians to connect with audiences in a much more personal and vulnerable way than they ever were able to in the band.

It’s the difference between a home-cooked meal and fast food, as Graham put it during a recent marathon interview from his Bend home ahead of Mosley Wotta’s performance with Larry and His Flask and the Hot Club of Bend at The Capitol on Thursday. The show will be a benefit for hurricane relief efforts in the Virgin Islands, with donations going to a GoFundMe account created by residents of St. Thomas.

Or, as Graham says seconds later: “It’s not supposed to look like anything; it is supposed to feel very much like something.” Mistakes and all.

“When we fall and we smash our face on the ground or whatever, and we’re able to be like, ‘Ta-da, we’re human,’ then the audience gets to be like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m human, too; I just stubbed my toe on my way here,’” Graham said. “And that’s awesome at a time when … so many camps are trying to be separate.”

Breaking down barriers between performer and audience has long been a goal of Graham’s, reflected in the tagline on the band’s Facebook page: “I am Mosley Wotta and so are you.” And he and Williams have found it easier to connect with audiences in the simple duo setup as opposed to with the full band, whose performances are limited by logistics and time (members Stephanie Slade, Patrick Pearsall and Lindsey Elias all perform with other groups around town).

“At the end of the day, I’m a microphone dude — that’s my thing,” Graham said. “… It’s pretty stripped-down when it’s just you, your ideas, an audience, if there is one, and then a microphone. And Colten is similarly minimal with a lot of what is being brought to the table, and it’s really rewarding when you can move a crowd with so few pieces.”

The setup makes sense, considering the core of Mosley Wotta the band was always the creative partnership between Graham and Williams. The two artists met before Graham adopted the Mosley Wotta name. At the time, Graham was heavily involved in Bend’s then-burgeoning spoken-word scene, while Williams played guitar in local rock bands. Eventually, Graham joined local hip-hop group Person People and Williams played with metal band Vihara, but the two remained good friends.

“This is like at a heyday for independent hip-hop,” Graham said. “… We had folks like Doseone or Atmosphere holding down the vanguard, and we had Anticon and Deep Puddle Dynamics. … There were all these folks that had found this cross section of spoken word and hip-hop and electronic music.”

Graham and Williams dropped two albums as Mosley Wotta in the early 2010s — “Wake” in 2010 and the ambitious concept record “Kinkonk” in 2012 — even as the band was forging its own identity as a hard-rocking hybrid. While the duo never stopped writing and continues to debut new material live, it hasn’t released new material since 2015’s six-song “Markets Flooded” EP.

They’re hoping to change that soon. After numerous delays — including a computer crash that caused Williams to lose a lot of tracks — Mosley Wotta has “a full album’s worth of really good material that we’re incredibly excited about,” Williams said.

Lyrically, Graham has been confronting the role fear plays in society — politically, socially, racially and otherwise. He was inspired by a story he read in “The Dao of Wu” by Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA, in which RZA relates the themes of “Night of the Living Dead” to the crack epidemic he witnessed growing up in his neighborhood.

“I think at some point, too, you’re not trying to perpetuate more of it,” Graham said. “You know how it feels to be afraid, so if you are going to create something that is utilizing fear, it seems like, for where at least I’m approaching this work, it needs to have some kind of medicinal quality. It needs to actually bring you somewhere, instead of just scaring you so that you’re not thinking. It is bringing up fear in a way to engage your thinking, and critical thinking, and like, oh, OK, we’re in this situation; well, where do we go from here?”

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