Moonshine Willy - Moonshine Willy
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Moonshine Willy (Bloodshot, 1996)

Moonshine Willy

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

From the picture on the back sleeve, you're certain this is a band playing old time country music. There's standup bass, fiddle, banjo, and people attired in bib overalls or short skirts.

On their first album, 1995's "Pecadores," Moonshine Willy's music bore at least some resemblance to that visual image. Interspersed with a bunch of original songs were classic country tunes featuring Kim Docter and deep-voiced Mike Luke trading vocals in vintage fashion. But here, the band sounds dramatically more modern. Docter not only dominates vocally (Luke reduced to a cameo role) but also wrote every song. The music is still fronted by fiddle, mandolin, banjo and/or accordion, but they usually seem more like rock instruments than country.

This definitely gives Moonshine Willy an unusual sound. Docter sings decently, somewhere between country and rock, and her songs are melodic.

Get underneath the often bouncy music and you discover lyrics that might seem more at home on The Louvin Brothers' "Tragic Songs Of Life" album. This isn't the best album of the year, but it is one of the most intriguing.

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