The Colorado Springs based band Red Moon Rounder is Justin O'Connell (vocals/guitar/harmonica), Chad Cunningham (vocals/banjo/guitar), Blake Goodwin (percussion) and Quinn Bryant (bass). The players have been around together with Cunningham and O’Connell previously playing in a band called the Pint Glass Killers and later, in 2017 when Goodwin and Bryant joined they turned the band in a new direction which runs the gamut of blues, rock, folk and bluegrass, and thus was born Red Moon Rounder.
Their debut album Red Moon Rounder combines all these influences into an album which sounds like it was born out of nights of hard bustling and drinking that the west is known for, or at least what I know of it.
The record gets going from the get go with the opening track, “Take Me Home” starting out as a slow and heartfelt country twanger and then exploding into a well rounded hand clapping, toe tapping alt country swagger that sounds a lot like early Wilco. The backing vocals harmonies really helped to give the song a standout feeling as did the rippling banjo and complementary harmonica solo. It’s fun and happy and hard to not like, even if you’re not really into this genre. A few beers and it really seems to open itself up to your ears.
The next tune “Settle Down” also has that easy to love alt country aesthetic that sort of ropes you in like a calf and you just sort of settle down to it.
They do ballads in the country style pretty well to as they do on the beautifully instrumented and heartfelt “Don’t Cry for Me” which ripples with so much emotion as is the equally powerful but heavier sounding “Worth” which again just hits the mark so perfectly it’s hard not to say “damn,” no matter if you’re a fan of twangy rock or not. They even make the most ramshackle and derivative kind of country tune sound first class as they do on “Lonesome Song” and the hyped up closer “If Yer Leavin.”
Red Moon Rounder, it should also be noted have constructed a very well-engineered record that sounds like the real deal. This is a band that you go out to see at a bar and end up getting silly fun drunk and just having a good ole time to. So crack a few beers and fire up Red Moon Rounder on the stereo. You’ll thank me later.
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