MoonRunners Music Festival, Shooter Jennings, Scott H. Biram

MoonRunners Music Festival

MoonRunners Music Festival was created three years ago by Outlaw Radio Chicago host and Last False Hope leader, Jahshie P. He wanted to bring the music of underground roots to one the of the greatest cities in the world, Chicago, IL. The vision was to create an intimate and indoor setting in a big city that would separate itself from other spring and summer festivals. MoonRunners and Moonrunners II were both huge success' with sold out crowds. This year looks to be just the same!

Shooter Jennings

"I am beginning to believe the deals our forefathers made with the Devil not that long ago sealed our fate as well as theirs. How many generations will the Calling seduce and intoxicate? Did any of us have a choice? The salvation of the lonely road country blues fever is passed down, each generation stubbornly as rebellious as the one that infected and inspired it. Thank God for the Curse; the velocity and quality of modern day Roots music is the only saving grace I see in these sorry times and it gives me hope for our children."- Luther Dickinson/North Mississippi Allstars and the Black Crowes

Shooter Jennings has worn many hats throughout his career: the self-described "son of a rebel saint," the hell-raising vigilante minister at a revival of true country music, the radical prophet using rock and roll as his medium, the guiding light for an ever-growing army of young musicians who are, like Shooter himself, outsiders in today's music business. Now after a career where he has done everything from sharing the stage with Alice in Chains to writing songs for the Oak Ridge Boys, Shooter will finally reveal the man at the heart of it all on March 13th when he releases Family Man on Entertainment One Nashville.

As the title suggests, Family Man is Shooter's most personal and introspective album to date, focusing on his home life with fiancee Drea de Matteo and their two children, the endless temptations of life on the road, his Southern heritage and upbringing, and his unique position among today's country musicians.

Shooter relies heavily on his own experiences throughout the album and as a result many of the songs are autobiographical in nature, whether he's addressing critics on "The Family Tree," paying tribute to his roots on the hard-rocking "Southern Family Anthem" ("We may be trash, but we're a family," he sings), or diving into deeply personal territory with heartfelt ballads like "Daddy's Hands," a song which was inspired by an illness in his fiancee's family last year.

"Drea's dad had a stroke right after Christmas," he says, "It was really tough. We all were in the hospital from right after Christmas until late January and it was insanely hard on Drea to watch her dad in this debilitated state, but it had a double edge cut to me as it reminded me of all the years I spent in the hospital with my own dad. I'd never been able to visit that emotion until I went through it through Drea's eyes. So this song is kind of a culmination of both of those experiences for me."

Elsewhere on the album, Shooter revisits an old Southern folktale with the story of "The Black Dog," writes a bittersweet ode to an old friend on "Born Again," and delivers a perfect love song with "The Deed and the Dollar."

Musically, Shooter says that Family Man was heavily influenced by artists such as Bob Dylan, John Prine, and Harry Nilsson, as well as his new-found friendship with legendary songwriter Steve Young, the man behind such classics as "Lonesome On'ry and Mean" and "Seven Bridges Road."

Recording in his adopted hometown of New York, producing himself for the first time, and playing with a group of extremely talented musicians he has dubbed "The Triple Crown," Shooter is more relaxed and confident on this album than ever before. Featuring renowned jazz pianist Erik Deutsch, guitarist Chris Masterson, drummer Tony Leone, bassist Jeff Hill, pedal steel player John Graboff, and rising roots music star Eleanor Whitmore, who contributes harmony vocals as well as playing mandolin and fiddle, the Triple Crown brings to mind such ensembles as Merle Haggard's Strangers, Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, and Buck Owens' Buckaroos, becoming an integral part of the music and adding their unique stamp to each and every note. To complete the lineup, Shooter brought in iconic harmonica player Mickey Raphael, who is best known for his long partnership with Willie Nelson.

"I really wanted to cut a harmonica-heavy album," Shooter says, "I feel like these days there aren't enough harmonicas on country records. And I don't mean blues harmonica played to create the front porch effect. I'm talking about melodic, beautiful, midnight cowboy harmonica like on the old records in the '60's and '70's. And there are two kinds of people that play that harmonica, Mickey Raphael and Mickey Raphael fans."

In addition to the Triple Crown, Shooter enlists the help of longtime friend Tom Morello on the roots-rocker "The Long Road Ahead."

"Tom and I have been friends for ten years now," Shooter explains, "I've been fortunate enough to witness a lot of his career first hand and how he handles things. He was my guru for years, and still is in many ways. I always go to him when things get too confusing, as he is a wise man in many ways, and a wizard musically. He's asked me to be a part of many of his Justice Tour shows and his Hotel Cafe gigs that he did in LA, and even asked me to sing on one of his Nightwatchman tracks, which was my honor. I've always wanted him to blow through a guitar solo on one of my songs, and when I was working on "The Long Road Ahead" I felt it needed to go to outer space at some point in the song, and I had a feeling he was the man for the job. I was right."

The word "outsider" is perhaps the best one to describe Shooter's music and career. The only son of two country music giants, he began his career as a teenager by recording an industrial rock album with his father, which was later re-recorded and released as Waylon Forever.

He later formed the band Stargunn and after relocating to L.A., they quickly gained a reputation as one of the area's top underground rock bands, being named one of the best unsigned acts in the nation by Music Connection and catching the attention of Tom Morello, who produced a still-unreleased album for the group. After the band's breakup, Shooter was presented with the opportunity to audition for hard rock supergroup Velvet Revolver, but he says that he was never interested in the job, choosing instead to pursue a career in country music.

Scott H. Biram

In an era where most of the world is floating around on laptop computers and digital social networks, there's still someone out there coughing up chunks of salt, dirt, and gravel into a microphone, and banging out the bowels of what's left of the seeds of man on a 1959 Gibson hollow body guitar. These are the rusty scrapings of resin that have come from modern times having it's way with old time blues, country, and bluegrass roots music. This is Scott H. Biram, The Dirty Old One Man Band from Austin, TX.

When you put a lethal mix of styles and genres like his together you're just asking for a potent cocktail of auditory bliss and blasphemy. Bad Ingredients, his latest libation to hit your palate this fall on Bloodshot Records, is a 13 song happy hour guaranteed to kick your ass and leave you thirsty for more. Recorded at Scott's home studio and mastered by the legendary Jerry Tubb of Terra Nova Mastering (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam), Bad Ingredients delivers in both classic S.H.B. throat stomping style and ever-evolving as a songwriter substance. Crowd pleasing tracks like "Victory Song" and "I Want My Mojo Back" force the listener to bang down their shot glasses in time to the beat, as best they can, and sing along. While "Just Another River" and "Open Road" might just find itself into your cerebellum subconsciously while you fight the late night spins and reflect on another day lost to the night. Bad Ingredients might just cure what ails you and large doses are encouraged...pick it up at a brick and mortar or online this October 11th, 2011.

What makes a Scott H. Biram show unlike anything you've ever experienced? His live stage performance consists of a collection of vintage guitars, a couple rock guitars wired up through a wall of beat up road worn amplifiers, all accompanied by a stomp board of his own creation. The board is powered by two huge big-rig grilled subwoofers that sit directly behind him providing a powerful thump that obligates the crowd to shake their fists and their asses. His voice is driven through the slightest overdriven mics that make the vocals ride on top of his sound while blending perfectly with the rest of the instruments. Scott H. Biram is a man possessed. Why not let his dirty gospel enter your soul and join him at his First Church of the Ultimate wine, just whisky. Hallelujah.

Fifth On The Floor

Fifth on the Floor started out like all good bands do: on a Friday night over a bottle of Jim Beam. After a few weeks of songwriting, lineup-changes, and hangovers, the grouping of ChrisCollins, Robin Polly, Matty Rodgers, and Justin Wells solidified the group dynamic and sound that are instantly identifiable.

Less than a month after inception, Fifth on the Floor were hitting venues all over Kentucky. Soon after, the band was rocking stages in Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, and Ohio. The songs that developed were recorded on FOTF's debut record, "The Color of Whiskey". The release is as much a melting pot of American music as the band itself, with songs ranging from honky-tonk to southern jam to hard rock, and everything in between. "The Color of Whiskey" is as unabashedly raw and straight-forward as FOTF's stage show.

With the 2010 release of their sophomore record "Dark and Bloody Ground", Fifth on the Floor has built a rock-solid testament to honest music, with nothin'-but-guts songs like "Shine", "On My Way", and "The Fall". The record describes hard times, but with its chin up and its fists raised.

FOTF wears their country/americana roots on their collective sleeves, yet the rock-infused energy of their live performance is something to behold. Having played nearly three hundred shows in four years, they've honed their show to an unforgettable experience. A Fifth on the Floor show is not unlike a one night stand: they let their hair down, kick your ass, and, with any luck, you'll remember it in the morning.

Hellbound Glory

As their name alludes, Hellbound Glory is well on their way to proving they are a force to be reckoned with in the country music. Fusing superior song writing and hard living characters with a hard-edged country honky tonk sound. The group is known for its instrumental dexterity, while vivacious frontman Leroy and his compadres are also notorious for their down-home, good-old-boy attitude. This type of attitude and song writing chops, to back it up, have won over fans far and wide. Whether they are playing in front of two hundred or two thousand, Hellbound Glory delivers on their performance and leaves audiences begging for more as they envelop the crowd with Leroy’s powerful story telling and showmanship.

Possessed by Paul James

"His musical style can only be described as insanely invigorating. Audiences have witnessed him exercise his skill, which has been known to enchant and captivate, throwing all present individuals into fevered states of ecstatic jubilation. This guy is a master of the fiddle, guitar and banjo; he sings about life issues ranging from love and sexuality to demons, God, salvation and desperation, all performed with the same invigorating passion as he stomps his foot during each song for amplified percussive effect. When Wert is on stage, you will feel singled out among a room of enthused bystanders, as if he is speaking to you alone for the distinct purpose of mesmerizing your mind." -J. Payne DT Weekend 2008

"One-man band Konrad Wert grew up in a Mennonite family, raised by preacher father and a piano player mother, which accounts for both the baptized-in-fire-soul and musical versatility heard in his gritty Old World music. Wert's mix of blues and vintage folk howls with a sense of explosive freedom and latent rage-not unlike an Amish kid emerging from the wilderness to discover America -that instills his simple guitar/fiddle/stomp-box arrangements with unusual passion." - The Onion 2007

The Calamity Cubes

The Calamity Cubes! are a Kansas thrashicana band featuring guitar, banjo, and upright bass. They sing about love, drinking and murder, themes not unlike those found in the Bible.

Jayke Orvis and the Broken Band

Last False Hope

Part city slickers, part scumpunks, and full on music junkies, Last False Hope hails from Chicago. Their unique sound of underground bluegrass combined with their roots in punk and metal is a loose bull in a china shop. This clash of genres that they have dubbed "Brutal-Grass" has quickly earned them a name in and out of The Windy City. The idea was cooked up by Jahshie P., a longtime veteran of the Chicago music scene. Best known as the former frontman of Failed Resistance, My Vengeance, and Michael Jackson punk cover band Neverland, Jahshie P. developed an intense interest in country western and bluegrass music, along with a new-found passion for the mandolin. Come the summer of 2009, his new skills began to translate into songs. His first step was to bring his than wife, Kristina Nutting, a newcomer to the Chicago music scene, along for the ride. She would rapidly warm up to the banjo. Quick to the draw, they set forth to include a track on the Outlaw Radio Compilation Volume One. To fill in the blanks they recruited producer Shawn Connors, best known as the drummer of death metal band Bound And Gagged, who later joined Jahshie P. in Neverland, as well as a number of other fly-by-night acts. To fill in the line-up, Arcadia Kust was added on fiddle, Sean Moriarty on guitar, and Dave Beneventi was lifted from local Irish punk act The Fisticuffs to play bass. Former My Vengeance members Steve Stepien and David Wiegers- who also played guitar in Neverland- were recruited to play drums and guitar, respectively. This line-up would go on to record "$2 Pints" for the comp. Over the course of roughly the next year, the seven of them would write many songs and play several shows to unsuspecting audiences who would become die-hard fans of this new sound. Come September 2010, they re-enlisted Shawn Connors to begin work on the debut EP, "The Shape Of Bluegrass To Come." Four songs- "Giving Up God For Lent", "Drag Me To Hell", "You Drink, You Drive, She Wins", and "Dying and Diseased"- would make the final cut. The EP was released on March 1st through Pint Of Happiness Records. After the conclusion of the "The Shape of Bluegrass To Come" sessions, Sean, Arcadia, and Dave B parted ways with the band. Shawn Connors has since joined to fill the open guitar position, along with Scott Farruggia- also from Bound And Gagged and Neverland- on bass, and friend-of-a-friend Colleen Mary on fiddle. The new line-up was debuted on the Southern Independent Volume One compilation with a track titled "Guilty Until Proven Innocent." A versus split with Nellie Wilson & the Hellbound Honeys was released on Jahshie P.'s own Solitary Records in 2011. Since their inception, LFH has shared the stage with the likes of Star Fucking Hipsters, Danzig, Bad Religion, Those Poor Bastards, World/Inferno Friendship Society, The Casualties, .357 String Band, Hellbound Glory, The Goddamn Gallows, and The Unseen. They were also named the Best Country Band in the Chicago Reader "Best of Chicago 2011" and again in 2012. reader's poll. Despite many changes in their crew- June 2013 saw Tina's departure- Last False Hope pushes on. Their debut album, "Dig Nails Deep", will be released in November on Solitary Records/Black Country Rock.


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