Monday, July 20, 2015

MOONGRASS [2013] All The Wrong Notes In All The Right Places

(Left to Right) Taylor Merlina: Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Vocals. Cole Melcher: Electric Guitar, Vocals. Tom McKay: Bass, Banjolele, Vocals. Elijah Watson: Banjo, Percussion, Vocals. Willie Reavis: Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals.

Moongrass is five boys raised in the muddy Nooksack delta, tucked away in the Northwest corner of Washington state. They play earnest and heartfelt music that blurs lines between country, blues, motown, doo-wop, and punk. Their sound, at once unexpected and familiar, is referred to as “sweet&loud country stompalongs.”

The five members (Elijah, Taylor, Tom, Cole, and Willie) all share vocal and songwriting duties in the band. Their powerful vocal harmonies provide a richness and cohesiveness to their sound, even as they switch leads from song to song. Classic country instrumentation (bass guitar, banjo, acoustic and electric guitars, stripped down drumkit, and occasional piano, organ, and lap steel) provides a solid sonic jumping-off point for original songs that span from pre-war blues, cryin-in-your-beer ballads, breakneck country freakouts, creeping minor dance numbers, and heavy arena rock anthems.

Despite this variance in style, the brotherly bonds of these five boys allow for a united sound. Their close-knit musicality shines through in both the comfortable way they fill the stage and the tight, unrestrained energy with which they approach their songs.

Moongrass began as a response to the depression, malaise, and apathy of the rainy winter of 2012 in Bellingham, Washington. Busking on weekend nights for drunks and down-and-outs, the band developed their style and attitude playing country blues covers and originals. Momentum built from this humble start, as the band was invited to play dive bars, open mics, weddings, festivals, bigger stages, other towns, all the while improving their sound, skills, equipment, and material. The self-released debut “All The Wrong Notes In All The Right Places” was recorded at Harmony Hound Studio in Ferndale, WA and released in November of 2013. This album is a snapshot of the band on their way from the street to the stage, as their sound evolved and their horizons expanded.

01 Train To Mexico
02 Lord I Love My Baby Girl
03 Everbody's Dreaming
04 Be The One
05 Preacher And The Bull Dog
06 Southern Stars
07 You Can't Go Back
08 Bum Town Parade
09 Warm Ball
10 Cry Cry Cry
11 Carry The Moan
12 Old Bell

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