Pearl Street Warehouse Presents
Mike and The Moonpies
33 Pearl St SW
Washington, DC, 20024
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Mike and The Moonpies
When frontman Mike Harmeier sang “they don’t make ’em like they used to”at the start of Mike and the Moonpie’s last studio album (2015’s Mockingbird),it wasn’t the idle complaint ofanarmchair country music critic: It was a self-imposed challenge, answered by Harmeier and the rest of his band of young but stage-hardened, old-soul honky-tonkers, todo something about it. “The idea was, if I walked into a bar with mydador grandfather, I wanted the album to sound like the stuff that I would play on a jukebox at that bar,” says the 33-year-old songwriter, who started Mike and the Moonpies not long after moving to Austin from his native Houston a decade ago. “That’s why it had a bunch of different styles on it: there’s a Bob Seger kind of thing on there, some Randy Travis sounding stuff, a George Jones kind of thing ... That was all a grand scheme that I had inmy head.”The reaction was pretty grand, too, with Rolling Stone Country picking Mockingbird as one ofthe genre’s best albums of the year. The accolades neatly coincided with the band’s signing with powerhouse Americana booking agency Red 11 Music, and the following year’s jam-packed double-disc Live at WinStar World Casino and Resort only offered further indisputable affirmation of Mike and the Moonpies’ hard-earned status as one of the Texas music scene’s finest real country bands since the release of their auspicious 2010 debut, The Real Country. Itturns out Harmeier had something of a scheme in his head for that live album, too — but unlike Mockingbird before it, it had nothing todo with looking back. The rest of the Moonpies —guitarist Catlin Rutherford, drummer Kyle Ponder, bassist Preston Rhone, steel guitarist Zachary Moulton, and piano, organ and Wurlitzer player John Carbone — may not have known itat the time when they hit the WinStar stage, but the frontman was already laying the groundwork for their next studio album.“Sometimes when you go into the studio, you get into a hole where everybody wants to recut their solos over and over, and I wanted to stay away from that when we made our next album. I wanted to have it where whatever happened in the moment is what would goon the record. So, the live album was my way of kind of conditioning the band for that ... without me telling them.”Harmeier laughs ashe admits this, but the results —as heard on the band’s freshly minted Steak Night at the Prairie Rose (February 2018) — speak for themselves. Recorded in April atYellow Dog Studios in Wimberley, Texas, the Moonpies’ fifth album is not only their best effort todate, but arguably the first to really nail the irresistible, good-time spark and spirit of one ofAustin’s best bar bands (in anygenre) in the studio. In keeping with the “keep itin the moment” vibe of the whole record, Harmeier wrote orco-wrote all but one of the album’s 10 songs (the exception being “The Last Time”by friend Jonathan Terrell, who wrote “Damn Strait”for the Moonpies’ 2012 sophomore release The Hard Way) inthe span of about a month or two, right before the week-long recording session. And although every song on the album isas unabashedly country asany fan favorite from Mockingbirdor the rest of the Moonpies’ catalog (including the dozens of classic honky-tonk covers from their salad days residencies at Austin’s Hole in the Wall, White Horse, and Broken Spoke), Harmeier notes that the only “concept”he had this around was to keep the writing “simple” enough to allow the rest of the band —and producer Adam Odor — room to really goto town. “The only thing I really wanted was for the band to just have fun playing the songs, because I wanted the album to showcase the playerson top of the songs that I wrote — just like the live record did.”
Not coincidentally, it was Odor who recorded, mixed, and mastered that live album, which inturn landed him the gig helming Steak Night. It was the first time since the Moonpies inception that Harmeier ever felt comfortable handing the reins completely over to someone else. “Adam and I actually met the day that he came to the WinStar to record the live record, but it was like we had already known each other for 20 years,” recalls Harmeier, who had long been anadmirer of Odor’s resume both on his own and asan engineer on countless projects by famed producer Lloyd Maines (Joe Ely, Dixie Chicks).“From it’s inception, “Steak Night” was and is a band album,” explains Odor. “No extra layers, no added studio musicians (except for the genius Mickey Raphael guesting on “The Worst Thing”), no unwarranted overthinking about what is expected. We worked out musical parts and arrangements together, we worked on instrument tones together, and we hit record on the tape machine and played it together. Some of these songs came together in a matter of 2 to 3 takes, others took many, many, different directions before landing on what you hear today. Most importantly, what you’re hearing on this album is what you’ll be seeing at each show, night after night. “Of course, the Moonpies themselves had a lot to do with making Steak Night at the Prairie Rose special, too — as did the songs. Highlights include the opening “Road Crew,” which kicks things off at Highway Patrol-baiting speed powered by the twin-engine roar of electric twang and runaway pedal steel, and the sweepingly melodic gambler’s lament, “Beaches of Biloxi.”“I love that era coming out of the outlaw thing and going into the more ‘contemporary country stuff,’ where the production starting getting a little bit more poppy but was still kind of dirty,”Harmeier explains. “For me, that’s when things started toget really interesting musically, and I think this whole record kind ofhas that ’80s thing toit— probably because there’s so much Wurlitzer all over it.” There’s also a whopping dose of twin electric/steel leads, a little Talk Box (played by guitarist Catlin Rutherford on“Things Ain’t Like They Used toBe”), a hint of Willie-worthy harmonica (courtesy of guest Mickey Raphael on the waltz “Worst Thing”), and a whole lot of humor, ranging from the nudge-nudge-wink-winkery of“Might Be Wrong”to the barbed-wire irony of“Wedding Band.”For the record, he’s no slouch when it comes to writing earnest, either — especially when drawing from the well of first-hand experience. Much like “Mockingbird” before it, Steak Night atthe Prairie Rose’s title track plays like an early chapter from Harmeier’s autobiography, this one going all the way back to his very first time playing music onstage in front ofan audience at age 13.“I grew up kind of going to the bars with my dad and my grandfather and playing the jukebox all the time, which of course is what ‘Mockingbird’ and a lot of the last record was kind of about. But then I started to take guitar lessons, and when I got to where I could pretty much play two hours worth of songs, whether itbe Clint Black or Kansas, anything — that’s when my dad gotme that gig playing every Wednesday night during ‘steak night’at the Prairie Rose in Decker Prairie, Texas. So yeah, that’s all real
Whiskey Revival formed as a 3-piece band, Steven Bruce (lead male vocals, guitar, harmonica), Adrienne Davis (lead female vocals, cajon), and James Davis (guitar, bass) out of Fredericksburg, VA. Members now include Bart Balderson (drums), Josh Stansfield (electric guitar), and Caroline Ayers (fiddle).
Established in 2016, the band has played all over the Fredericksburg music scene and other surrounding areas in Virginia such as Richmond and Manassas.
In early 2018, the trio went into the studio for the first time to create their debut EP (The Machine Shop Sessions). The EP was released in June 2018.
Now backed by a full band Whiskey Revival plans to head back into the studio in 2019 to record a full length album while maintaining a busy live schedule.
This show is G.A.
Seating is limited and first come first serve
Tables are meant to be shared
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