Derek Davis : Vocals
Craig DeFalco : Guitar, Background Vocals
Mike Malone : Piano, Harmonica
Brian Fox : Drums
Michael Norton : Bass
01 Mississippi Delta Blues
02 Warm Beer Catfish Stew
03 The Devil’s Road
04 Fortunate Son
05 The Last Song
06 Mama’s Kitchen Brew
07 Southern Blood
08 Turn Me Around
09 Fade Away
10 The American Train
A nice surprise this Moonshine from South Carolina. This album will remind us a lot of good moments, back at the beginning of the 90's with a great southern album in 1998, XX. This band changed his name, one year later, in Laidlaw, from Tommy Laidlaw on vocals, and gave a heavy album in 1999 called "First Big Picnic", with the honkette Dale Krantz-Rossington and Carol Chase on guests on one song. They came back in 2003 on the album "Laidlow" with the magnificent "Ode to Ronnie", before the last album in 2006 "The Foam Box Sessions". And here they are in 2014, just a kind of resurrection with their original name Moonshine, for ten great songs and the two musical genius Buzzy James on slide guitar and Craig DeFalco on guitar, with bassist Michael Norton. Three new musicians are present (Derek Davis on vocals, Brian Fox on drums and Mike Malone on harmonica and piano).
The album begins with "Mississippi Delta Blues", a kind of southern boogie from the swamps, heavy, dirty with full parts of slide guitar. Still in the swamps on "Warm Beer Catfish Stew", a song from 1998'sXX and 1999's first Big Picnic, and on "The Devil's Road". Then arrives CCR "Fortunate Son", just before "The Last Song" a classical and beautiful song with Buzzy James slide guitar on top. We get three "quiet" songs before an extraordinary Skynyrd style "Fade Away" with beautiful piano and slide guitar parts, just before the heavy "The American Train" that closes the album, a real musical tornado.
California has its revolution with Highway Ryders last year, and Moonshine now. Don't wait for them, just go!
Band of the new Records Company Southern Blood Records, Moonshine gives us its first album with a beautiful sleeve (tough guys and clothes from the Mason Dixie Line). That's a good point, but what about the music? Not so bad, too.
The album begins with "Mississippi Delta Blues", a fast shuffle with a crazy slide guitar and vocals in the Southern Boogie spirit. "Warm Beer Catfish Stew" has a good rhythm with its slide parts and its vocals close to the new Lynyrd Skynyrd. This song ends with the harmonica and the dobro.
"The Devil's Road" reminds us of the early Charlie Daniels and the slide solo looks like what did the unforgettable Tommy Crain. A real good song! And a real good slide!
Then our friends offer us the John Fogerty "Fortunate Son" cover, with a lot of energy and harmonica and slide solos.
"The Last Song" is an excellent Southern Funk song with great vocals and guitars in harmony. And still this slide guitar that pick our ears! "Mama Kitchen Brew" looks like the early .38 Special and the singer is close to Bubba Keith. Ad still the slide guitar...
"Southern Blood" obviously comes from the South (with dobro and harmonica) and seems to have been influenced by Charlie Daniels and the Allman Brothers Band. It's written : I'm a Dixie Man, the Last One, So when you bury me, Put a rebel flag on me!". That's for me the best song of the album.
"Turn Me Around" is a heavy tempo song close to Blackfoot with a Duane Roland slide. This has been done to be aired on radios (just like the new Lynyrd Skynyrd), not so bad but not so good.
"Fade Away" is a beautiful ballad but maybe it could have been better with better choruses. But the slide solo is like always good enough, thanks to the bottleneck!
"The American Train" is not really good, and here, there's no slide solo to save it.
So Moonshine plays Southern Rock and does it well. We can find the influences but this band has its own style... and a very good slide guitarist. Did I already tell you about him ?