MOONSHINE – Moonshine (Lion’s Pride release 2015)
A reader requested a the European release of this album, a really great one that deserve a good listen. Babylon A.D. frontman Derek Davis decided to finally release this, the unreleased self-titled debut disc from his ’90s band MOONSHINE, a strongly blues-infused rocking combo whom recorded these tracks at Eddie Van Halen’s 5150 studios more than twenty years ago but never saw the light of day.
The brief press release states that Moonshine transpires southern rock with a bluesy heart in a classic rock mold, and with song titles such as “Mississipi Delta Blues”, “Southern Blood” or “Fortunate Son” you can assume that.
But let me tell you people, musically Moonshine goes beyond that.
What we have here is an awesome collection of hard rocking songs in the classic rock traditional way. With a foot firmly put into a bluesy foundation, yes, but as said, rockin’ and swaggerin’ as hell.
Produced by, at the time of recording, Van Halen’s bassist Michael Anthony (who also provides backing vocals) this ten-track corker is delicious as a candy apple.
The songs were composed by Davis, which groovy vocals fit the the material like a glove, and we have great bandmates including bassist Michael Norton (Driver, Peter Criss), drummer Brian Fox (White Tiger, Kiss, Silent Rage), fantastic hard rock guitar player Craig DeFalco (Laidlaw, back up for Tesla, Kiss and others), alongside his colleague Buzzy James who provides the southern flavor on some tunes with a great slide guitar work.
Opener “Mississipi Delta Blues” is in fact a kickin’ hard rocker in the Aerosmith vein circa Draw The Line, follower “Warm Beer Catfish Stew” mixes Damn Yankees with Lynyrd Skynyrd, and then the midtempo ballad (acoustically filled) “The Devils Road” makes you think about Tesla.
As you see, the first three songs are classic American rock sounding, inspired by (hard) rocking bands, and the rest of the disc is in the same direction.
So, don’t be fooled, “Moonshine” is not a southern / blues record. This rocks, and rocks great.
“Fortunate Son” (CCR cover) feels like Eighties .38 Special, “The Last Song” is very Tesla again, the extremely melodic rocker “Mamas Kitchen Brew” has something of Trixter in it, while “Turn Me Around” and “The American Train” recalls Great White.
As you read again, this CD is really hard rockin’ ! And so well composed, arranged, played and produced that you can’t believe it was not released back in the day.
Do yourself a big, big favor: get this CD at any price. It’s excellent, full of blood and terrific songs.
01. Mississipi Delta Blues
02. Warm Beer Catfish Stew
03. The Devils Road
04. Fortunate Son
05. The Last Song
06. Mamas Kitchen Brew
07. Southern Blood
08. Turn Me Around
09. Fade Away
10. The American Train
Derek Davis (Babylon A.D.) – Vocals
Craig DeFalco (Tesla, Kiss, Laidlaw) – Guitar, Background Vocals
Buzzy James – Slide Guitar, Background Vocals
Mike Malone – Keyboards, Background Vocals
Michael Norton (Driver, Peter Criss) – Bass
Brian Fox (White Tiger, Kiss, Silent Rage) – Drums
Michael Anthony (Van Halen) – Background Vocals, Production
BUY IT !