Album review: MOONSHINE SOCIETY – Sweet Thing


Bandcamp [Release date 05.11.21]

Moonshine Society formed back 2009 to craft their own brand of soulful blues, roots rock and old-school R&B. The main focus is singer/songwriter Black Betty aka Jenny Langer, who has appeared on stage with the likes of Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. The rest of Moonshine Society is guitarist Joe Popper, Wes Lanich and Benjie Porecke share key duties, on bass Tod Ellsworth and Christopher Brown, and drummer Rodney Dunton.

Jenny Langer’s singing is certainly one to make you sit up and take notice. Be it on the slow blues grind of the title track or the upbeat rock’n'roll of ‘Shake’. What a voice. Perfect for the blues, soul and R&B on here.

Plenty to enjoy on ‘Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean’, with Benjie Porecke’s piano a key part of the song’s attraction. The appropriately named Vince McCool plays a mean trumpet solo on this one too. For a bit more blues rock try their cover of Johnny Winter’s ‘Southern Road’. Joe Popper trades guitar solos with the harmonica of guest Jason Ricci, to create a satisfying mix.

‘Biscuits, Bacon and the Blues’ sees the band tap into a bit of gospel and soul. Love this song and the acoustic version – one of three bonus tracks on this CD release – works well too.

The Etta James classic ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ is the pick of the three covers on here. Jenny Langer really pours her heart and soul into her singing on this one. I would imagine this is a bit of a show stopper when performed live.

No real surprise this album was the Winner of the 2020 International Blues Challenge Best Self-Produced CD, as the sound is clear with plenty of room for each of the musicians to strut their stuff. Originally released via Bandcamp, you can now own it on CD, which I humbly suggest you do, as this is one mighty fine and entertaining dose of the blues. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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