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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Russ Still and the Moonshiners

Bootleg (Batch 432)

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed a set from this act and really enjoyed it. Well, this one doesn't disappoint. The mix of country and rock music here is strong. The songs are generally catchy and fun. There is a solid blend of just plain fun and more serious songs. If I had a complaint to make it would be that this is too short. Still, it's always better to leave them wanting more rather than overstaying your welcome, I suppose.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
No Stars
I dig the cool rock meets country vibe that opens the track. It's mid-tempo and dramatic. As the vocals join, we're out into a cool mainstream rock sound.
Waiting
Less electrified, this has a great mix of melodic rock and country music. This would have fit well into the whole 1970s country-tinged soft rock movement. It's an accessible piece with a cool mood and groove.
Monkey See
There is a harder rocking edge to this stomper. It has some real country music in the mix. This is more of a political, topical tune. This doesn't work as well as its two predecessors, though. It's a bit less accessible and has a bit of an awkward edge to it. Still, it's a solid song and features a killer instrumental break.
99%
Full-on country music in a mellower, acoustic vein is the concept of the cut here. The hooks on this are strong, and there are more powered up parts. This is another topical cut.
Money
More rocking, this is another that's less accessible than some of the rest. The chorus hooks are pretty catchy, though. This might be a rocker, but it still has plenty of down-home texture to. Some parts of this make me think of things like The Allman Brothers.
It’s Hard
Here is one of the two most down-home country tunes of the whole set. It gets a bit of a parental advisory for the lyrics. I love the "pickin'" guitar and honky-tonk piano. This  a lot of fun.
House Is Burnin’
We're back into rocking territory with this number. There is still some country here, but blues rock is the real driving point. This is one of my favorites on the disc. I love the guitar work, but the whole thing just stomps.
Line In The Sand
With plenty of slide guitar and a lot of twang, this is a full-on down-home country piece. It's a fun number that works well. It's another topical one, but in a more general way.
 
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