Mike and the Moonpies - One to Grow On
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One to Grow On (Self-released, 2021)

Mike and the Moonpies

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

Mike And The Moonpies open "One To Grow On" with a true working man's blues called "Paycheck To Paycheck." Although it's a fast-paced country-rocker, featuring plenty of fine picking, its message is as serious as a blue-collar heart attack. The 'Mike' in the band's name is singer/songwriter Mike Harmeier, who sings "Paycheck To Paycheck" from the perspective of a construction worker. But he could just as easily be expressing the trials and tribulations of touring band life. Mike And The Moonpies are favorites of the neo-traditionalist crowd but are likely not even close to bringing in Carrie Underwood type money. Instead, chances are good these guys still live paycheck to paycheck. With that said, though, economic struggles have never sounded better. This album is filled with plenty of music that'll do any true country-loving heart good.

"Rainy Day" continues one of the album's themes -- working hard with little reward in sight. "I wake up when the rooster crows/I head home when the whistle blows," Harmeier admits. Although he dreams of getting ahead and having enough socked away for a rainy day, the harder he works, the more behind he seems to get. This is not frivolous frat party country, which is so popular on the radio and at festivals these days. No, these are real concerns of real Americans. Speaking of radio, though, "Hour On The Hour" sounds like a radio hit. With its soft country groove, it feels like vintage '70s Eagles. It's filled with cold hard truth, too, as every song played over the airwaves the reminds this sad sack of his broken heart.

Yes, there is plenty of emotional shrapnel filling out these grooves. However, the playing is also so darn good! It includes a whole lot of traditional instrumental interplay, which makes these hurtful lyrics go down just a little easier. Oh, and this is not an album that will grow on you; instead, you'll be hooked from verse one.

CDs by Mike and the Moonpies

One to Grow On, 2021 Steak Night at the Prairie Rose, 2018 Mockingbird, 2015

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