Mike and the Moonpies Raise The Steaks

Read our review of the new release from Mike and the Moonpies

photo supplied

 

By Rob Dickens

 

The Artist

Mike and The Moonpies

 

The Album

Steak Night At The Prairie Rose

 

The Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Release Date

February 2 2018

 

The Introduction

Austinite band Mike and the Moonpies are renowned for their tight mix of country, swing and soulful honky tonk, particularly live but also in the studio.  They had much critical success with 2015’s Mockingbird.  We at Listening Through The Lens loved it and you can read our rave up RIGHT HERE.

 

The Background

For this release, frontman Mike Harmeier wrote or co-wrote all but one of the album’s ten songs (the exception being “The Last Time” by friend Jonathan Terrell) in the span of about a month or two, right before the recording session.  It’s the band’s fifth release.

 

The Recording

Recorded over a week in April last year at Yellow Dog Studios in Wimberley, Texas, Steak Night at the Prairie Rose was produced by Adam Odor (himself a musician) and features the multi-talented frontman/guitarist Harmeier, guitarist Catlin Rutherford, drummer Kyle Ponder, bassist Preston Rhone, steel guitarist Zachary Moulton and piano, organ and Wurlitzer player John Carbone.  This marks the first time since the Moonpies inception that Harmeier felt comfortable enough handing the reins completely over to someone else.  Odor’s resume includes Cody Canada & The Departed, Jason Boland & The Stragglers and as an engineer on countless projects with famed producer Lloyd Maines (Joe Ely, Dixie Chicks).

 

The Quote

“From its inception, ‘Steak Night’ was and is a band album,” notes 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. And most importantly, what you’re hearing on this album is what you’ll be seeing at each show, night after night.”

 

The Clip

Here’s the opening song “Road Crew”:

 

 

The Track List

1.Road Crew

2.Might Be Wrong

3.Steak Night at the Prairie Rose

4.Getting High at Home

5.The Last Time

6.Beaches of Biloxi

7.Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be

8.The Worst Thing

9.Wedding Band

10.We’re Gone

 

The Verdict

The challenge for a band of this ilk is how to capture the lively, good-time essence of their notable stage performances in the studio.  Mission achieved on that score here.  Steak Night at the Prairie Rose is far-reaching and spirited and contains a wonderful economy and an irresistible cohesion.  Blazing pedal steel, electric guitar and organ totally put the garnish on this tasty collection of country boogie, country funk and punchy Western Swing.

Highlights include the album opener “Road Crew,” which is a sparkling homage to a roadie friend and the title track with its searching autobiographical nod that goes all the way back to Harmeier’s very first time playing music onstage in front of an audience at the very impressive age of thirteen.  Add in the almost line-in-the-sand commitment of “The Last Time” (“The Last Time I’ll Be There For You … Until You Need Me Again”) and the swinging closer with its good-natured tale of life on the road – “We’re Gone”.

Get a piece of this steak, anyway you like it.

 

 

Post a comment or drop an e-line to team@listeningthroughthelens.com.  We will reply, we promise

 

Read our review of the new release from Mike and the Moonpies

 

 

 

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Read our review of the new release from Mike and the Moonpies

Killer Mockingbird – Mike and the Moonpies

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Author: Rob Dickens

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