Mike And The Moonpies

Mike and the Moonpies are the modern face of the outlaw country music movement. From their
home in Austin, Texas, they carry the torch of their predecessors, while maintaining the
originality and independence that the genre is infamous for. The Moonpies, led by Texas born
songwriter Mike Harmeier, manage themselves and produce their own albums. While steeped in
tradition, the Moonpies rejuvenate honky tonk and traditional country music and appeal to a
wildly eclectic audience. They are equally at home in dance halls and theaters, and can share a
bill with an indie rock band or a country legend.
The Moonpies live on the road and have the scars to prove it. Currently touring the U.S. in
support of their third studio album, "Mockingbird," they continue to live up to their reputation as
one of the hardest working and veracious bands in independent country music.

"Mockingbird" is the 3rd studio album for Mike and the Moonpies. Produced by frontman Mike
Harmeier and longtime friend and musician Michael Kingcaid (What Made Milwaukee Famous),
the album features 10 brand new original songs all written by Harmeier and performed by the
Moonpies. Several guest performers that appeared on 2012's "The Hard Way" returned for this
one, including Warren Hood (Lyle Lovett), Jenn Miori Hodges (Carper Family), and Pete Weiss
(Leo Rondeau). Recorded at the legendary Cedar Creek Studio in Austin by John Silva (the
Trishas) and mixed at Good Danny's in Austin by Max Lorenzen, "Mockingbird" is the band's
best sounding album to date. This collection of songs find Harmeier in a very nostalgic state of
mind both lyrically and musically. On the title track, reminiscent of Steve Earle's "Guitar Town,"
Harmeier sings about the influence of his father and grandfather on him today. The debut single
"Smoke Em If You Got Em" kicks off with an Allman Brothers style guitar riff and speaks about
the evolution of Harmeier and his band in the music industry. Lookout for several surprises on
this album which is far and away the band's most eclectic to date. "Mockingbird" is sure to make
a huge impact on the Texas Country scene and place the Moonpies in a position to break into
the Americana genre, where a large majority of traditional country and roots music currently
reside.

"Don't call Danny Burns a newcomer.

Two decades before releasing his 2018 debut, North Country — a collaborative album filled with appearances by icons like Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, and Tift Merritt— he kicked off his career as a traveling folksinger, logging shows on both sides of the Atlantic. He's been on the road ever since, sharpening a sound that mixes the folk traditions of his native Ireland with diverse American influences.

Raised in a family of working musicians, Burns spent his childhood in the Irish county of Donegal. He grew up surrounded by singers and instrumentalists, receiving a first-class education in Irish folk music along the way. It was a communal experience, filled with folksongs that had been passed down from one generation to the next. "It was never about one specific musician," he remembers. "It was about listening and learning. It was about playing a song, then passing the guitar to the person beside you, and hearing them play a song, too. There was no ego involved."

North Country doubles down on that communal spirit. After living in America for 19 years — first in New York City, where he cut his teeth with a string of bar gigs, followed by stints in New Orleans, Chicago, and the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC — Burns has shared shows with a number of acclaimed musicians who, like him, breathe new life into older sounds. North Country nods to that diverse group of friends, shining a light not only Burns himself, but also on the community he inhabits. Holly Williams, Mindy Smith, Dan Tyminski, Cara Dillon, Tim O'Brien, ChessBoxer, and Old Crow Medicine Show's Critter Fuqua all make appearances. The result is a transatlantic folk album that's both diverse and driving, filled with swooning melodies, evocative storytelling, and an elevated level of musicianship.

Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas both perform on North Country's kickoff track, "Let It Go," whose lyrics tell the story of two lovers drinking up the nightlife of New Orleans. Holly Williams joins the group on "Look Into Her Eyes," a harmony-driven tune punctuated by fiddle and dobro, while Tim O'Brien appears during the elegiac Celtic ballad "Darling Róisín." Elsewhere, Burns teams up with Cara Dillon to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse on the moving "Amy," waxes nostalgic about his homeland on "Great Big Sea," and swaps harmonies with Tift Merritt on "Human Heart."

Clocking in at 10 tracks, North Country feels like the soundtrack to a dinner party whose members have all left the kitchen table and headed to the music room, eager to share songs with one another. There's plenty of acoustic guitar, pedal steel, upright bass, mandolin, banjo, and other rustic instruments, as well as multiple voices. There are also snatches of American roots music, 1970s Irish folk, Bible Belt country, and bluegrass, with influences like Richard Thompson and Steve Earle looming large. At the center of the mix is Danny Burns: a red-headed, storytelling, hard-touring Irishman whose own voice is just as evocative as his songwriting.

Self-produced by the frontman himself, North Country was largely recorded at Gary Paczosa's home studio in Nashville, as well as the city's Butcher Shoppe studio (owned by John Prine and David "Fergie" Ferguson).

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