Outlaws & Moonshine has got all the Southern rock bases covered. The name? Check! Logo? Grinning skull with cowboy hat and six-shooters…check! Song titles? How about Whiskey and Redneck Me. Definite check on that one.
Based on the above, it would be easy to dismiss Outlaws & Moonshine as yet another formulaic Southern-influenced band mining the deep history of everyone from Synyrd to Black Label Society. However, the deal is that while the band may not be breaking any new musical ground, their songs are actually quite enjoyable to listen and rock out to, and isn’t that the point?
Outlaws & Moonshine is composed of vocalist/guitarist Beau Van, bassist Chris Van, guitarist/vocalist Mike Back, and drummer Eric Piper. Their five-song EP is entitled 1919, and the opening track, Cootie Brown tells the tale of a notorious hard drinker and what it would be like to emulate his partying, emphasizing the point of the lyrics with an ominous descending guitar riff. The afore-mentioned Whiskey starts with a deceivingly-mellow acoustic guitar intro before cranking up the electrics. The subject of the song is…well, you guessed it, presumably the band’s favorite beverage.
Hey Y’All is best described by the line “excuse me while I whip out my hey y’all.” It’s about being a country rock ‘n roller, and being damn proud of it. Redneck Me is a guy singing to his girl how, despite their seeming differences, are really quite alike. The song also starts with acoustic guitars, which continue throughout the song under the electric guitars, giving it a homey, small town feel.
Different Kind of Man also starts acoustically (see a trend here?) but features a rollicking guitar solo, emphasizing the “rock” in country-rock.
Can a band from Indiana get their Southern/country-rock street cred on? Based on this EP, they’re off to a promising start.