Mooney has recorded seven CDs as a leader, and many others as a sideman. Benign Strangers, his latest Sunnyside Records release, is a collaboration with Japanese drummer Ko Omura, and Mooney toured Japan to promote the release in the summer of 2018. His previous releases on Sunnyside Records are 2017â€™s Hope of Home, which features the talents of Brian Blade, Jon Cowherd, John Ellis, and Matt Clohesy, and 2012â€™s Perrier St, featuring the same band. In promotion of these CDs, Mooney has toured the US extensively, as well performed in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Peru, and Myanmar.
He is a Benedetto Artist.
Mooneyâ€™s guitar and improvisation instructional book Personalizing Jazz Vocabulary was published by Mel Bay in 2019.
He is Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and head of the jazz guitar program at the University of North Texas, where he teaches private guitar lessons, advanced jazz improvisation, and the L-5 guitar ensemble.
Mooney has a PhD in jazz performance from New York University, and wrote a dissertation on the early 1960s work of Joe Pass entitled â€œJoe Passâ€™s Catch Me!, For Django, and Joy Spring: Transcription and Analysis.â€
He competed in the 2005 Thelonious Monk International Guitar Competition, placing third, and studied at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance from 2007 to 2009, under artistic director Terence Blanchard. The Monk group worked with many jazz legendsâ€”including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Ron Carterâ€”and toured Panama and India.
Mooney received his Masterâ€™s Degree from the University of New Orleans (his hometown) in 2005. Shortly thereafter (in the wake of Hurricane Katrina), he relocated to New York City, and began performing at clubs such as the 55 Bar, The Bar Next Door, The Blue Note, and Smalls. In 2006 he recorded a duo guitar CD with John Pizzarelli entitled Last Train Home. The year after, he recorded Astoriano, on the Japanese label LateSet Records.
Mooney has also made the foray into the literary world by self-publishing two novels: 2017â€™s Annalee and 2012â€™s Hometown Heroes.