Mike and the Moonpies: Mockingbird
Mike and the Moonpies have released their 4th album, Mockingbird. The album is filled with a great selection of good ol’ country songs; the honest and true sounds of country from days long gone. I grew up on the country music of the 70s and 80’s, and these songs remind me so much of what country used to be, it’s a refreshing change from today’s modern country scene.
Mike and The Moonpies hail from Austin and are comprised of Mike Harmeier (guitar and vocals), Preston Rhone (Bass), Catlin Rutherford (guitar), Kyle Ponder (drums, percussion), Zach Moulton (Steel guitar), and John Carbone (piano and organ).
“Smoke ‘em If You Got ‘em” opens the album, taking us on a ride and showing us what it’s like to be a traveling musician. It’s got a great tune, highlighted by some terrific work on the keys by Pete Weiss.
“Say it Simply” is a fun song that really reminds me of old school country from the 70’s. It’s a great song to get onto the dance floor to. It’s got straightforward lyrics, just simple and easy. The instrumentals are fantastic; the keys and fiddle stand out in exactly the right ways.
“I Don’t Love You” is a heartbreaking song, about love ending. It’s a duet with Carson Mchone, who’s voice is both strong and sweet. It’s a soft and slow tune, not too fancy, perfectly delivered for the mood it wants to create. The lyrics are heartfelt and honest, it’s very well done.
“Mockingbird” is a faster paced tune, it definitely makes you want to tap your toes. It’s a fun song, “in my Levi jeans and snakeskin boots, I’m dressed like 1982”, which is fitting to me since the song feels like it came from that era as well.
“Never Leaving Texas” sounds like a great ‘drinking to forget about someone’ song. It’s a good honky tonkin mournful country tune. It’s definitely got the classic country feel to it, with the twang of a steel guitar.
“South First Blvd” is a cheating song. It weaves the story of catching his gal with another man on South First Blvd. without her even noticing. The saxophone, played by Joseph Serrato, really brings this song to life. This song has just a touch of a rock vibe.
“One is the Whiskey” has all the makings of a classic country drinking song, full of sorrow and melancholy. It’s slow and steady beat makes you want to sway back and forth, and the lyrics are full of smoky bar rooms and drinking whiskey to a memory.
“Delilah” is a hopping tune about not being able to wait to get home and see your gal. I can picture a dance floor full of men in cowboy hats twirling their ladies around to this song. It’s jazzy keys, fancy fiddling, and sassy guitar licks make this song exceptionally fun.
“A Song in Here” coaxes us along, about finding a song through an old guitar. It’s got a beautiful tune with sincere, uncomplicated lyrics.
“Miserable Man” wraps it up, a mournful song about a heartbroken woman and a miserable man stuck in a place they can’t seem to escape. It’s painful harsh reality probably hits home to quite a few people, making it a highly relatable song.
All in all I’m impressed with the consistency throughout the album, they don’t stray too far from their musical path or try to be anything that they aren’t. They stick with what they know and they do it well. It’s a fantastic country album.
Mike and The Moonpies will be playing at The Mercury Lounge in Tulsa on October 16th and at The Wormy Dog in Bricktown on October 17th as a part of the Mockingbird tour. Go check them out and pick up a copy of the album while you are there! You can also purchase it on Itunes, and check them out at www.themoonpies.com for more information on the band.