|Puttin It Down|
|Water on the Rocks|
Mike and the Moonpies will kick off their cd release with a party at Ray Benson's Backstage at The Rattle Inn in Austin, Texas on October 26th. The group will follow up with a radio tour in November in support of the album and a return to the midwest in early 2013. You're sure to find these relentless road warriors heading to your neck of the woods by checking out the calendar on their website (www.mikeandthemoonpies.com). Be sure to swing through The White Horse next time you're in Austin on a Thursday night, where you can tear up the packed dance floor to the band's original music coupled with hits from the likes of Doug Sahm and Dwight Yoakum.
Mike and the Moonpies are a professional honky-tonk band. They are self-managed and don't have day jobs, gigging four or five nights a week at bars and private parties around Texas. A typical Moonpies set is a mix of '70s hardcore country standards (Doug Sahm, Gary Stewart, Freddy Fender) and their own songs, which have good hooks and lyrics about heartbreak and hard living.
Mike and the Moonpies
titled 2010s full-length debut "The Real Country" Ã¢â‚¬â€ a title they seem to consider a charge to keep. They look the part Ã¢â‚¬â€ front man Mike Harmeier sports a cowboy hat as he growls and drawls his way through a set of cutting country anthems, lead guitarist Catlin Rutherford puffs on a cigarette and pedal steel player Zachary Moulton is a tattooed vision of toughness.
Harmeier's from a suburb of Houston, and grew up going to the rodeo. Rutherford's family used to own a dance hall in South Texas. He recalls a time Johnny Paycheck came through and asked for a glass of water before the show; instead of drinking it, he startled everybody by plopping his dentures in.
The band's stock has risen nationally thanks to a breakthrough session with Daytrotter.com and subsequent spot on the website's annual Barnstormer tour. An encore session was recently posted to the site.
"We're gonna start getting out of state more but right now it pays for itself to go in the same circle: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin," says Harmeier. On one hand, this makes them a throwback to an earlier breed of dancehall-circuit performers. On the other, they're just doing the practical, 21st century thing: constant touring, digital record releases and self-promotion online.
The parking lot is its own spectacle at the White Horse, where they play every Thursday. To get to the door you'll pass Cadillacs, choppers, and the occasional mule. Mike Judge has been spotted there, and is a fan. He makes a cameo in their music video for the song "Tape Machine," from their new self-titled EP. Their forthcoming full length album "The Hard Way" is due out in early November 2012.
-Courtesy of Leah Churner