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News: May 2007

Keep up on what's happening with the Bloodshot gang!

In Memory of Moonshine Willy's Nancy Tannenbaum

On Sunday May 13th, 2007 Nancy Tannenbaum, aka Nancy Rideout, original guitarist in Moonshine Willy, was killed in a motorcycle accident in New York City. She swerved to avoid a pedestrian who mysteriously ran onto the West Side highway, was thrown from her bike and died at the scene.

Nancy came into my life before Bloodshot Records was even a gleam in my eye. It was a thrilling, wide-open time when music meant EVERYTHING. Chicago was a city bursting with new, inventive music and this band, Moonshine Willy, was percolating with some sort unnamed mutant aggro-hillbilly punk sound. On stage right was this diminutive, bashful, tight-lipped guitarist with a fearless sound.

She had the impossibly cool rock and roll last name of Rideout---I don't even think I knew her real last name for a couple of years--I just assumed she was born to play music with that name (and would, without much fanfare, thrown DOWN with a nimble, messy, totally intuitive sound that mashed bluegrass, country and rockabilly into something I'd rarely seen played with such innate energy. At times, she even seemed surprised at some of things she was pulling off.

Moonshine Willy signed the first Bloodshot contract in 1994 (suckers!) and we packed a good deal of camaraderie into the next few years. It was a time before it all became a business, before true adulthood and responsibilities wrung some of the pure exhilaration out of our creative endeavors. All of us went to the same clubs, ate breakfast at the same places, saw the same shows, hung out in each others backyards or on each others porches, played softball every week (she was quite the second baseman), soaked in our respective sweat on a drive from Dallas to El Paso in 118 degree heat with a busted AC in the van during the first Willy national tour, and developed a closeness that only comes from such time together in the trenches. We were all essentially living together, we just happened to have different landlords and mailing addresses. I cannot imagine all those shows at Lounge Ax or Wednesday nights at Crash Palace/Delilah's without her.

Our time together was emblematic of a simpler, more fun time--full of close friendships that transcend geography. For me, her passing is a heart-breaking reminder of just how special that time was.

Mostly, though, when I think of Nancy, I remember how so very happy she looked when she was playing.

Rob Miller
Bloodshot Records

Blacks Reunion Concert Video

If you missed their electric reunion show at the Empty Bottle, or their super secret pre-show warm up at the Hideout, you can still see and feel a little of what it's like to be at a Blacks show by visiting our friends over at Glorious Noise.

See old concert footage, photographs, and an interview with the band, discussing their history and what brought them to reunite!

Bottle Rockets live at Old Town School of Folk Music

The Old Town School of Folk Music posted some great video of the performing at Robbie Fulks' Secret Country series, May 20th, 2007! To check out the video, go here!

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