• The Chicago-based quintet's arrangements combine bluegrass velocity with rock impact

    — Chicago Reader
  • Moonshine Willy's rollicking rhythms redeem Doctor's wry lyrics with twisted exuberance. Twisted exuberance? Sounds like real life to me, honestly.

    — MetroActive Music
  • Moonshine Willy's jagged bluegrass-rock is one of the best things to come out of the roots-rock revival of the '90s. Bandleader Kim Docter's distinctly un-traditional vocals and savagely cynical lyrics create a unique tension between country twang and big city sneer.

    — Allmusic.com
  • Lovably rickety hillbilly rock ... that slops through every riff like there's a six-pack on the other side.

    — Details
Chicago, IL

Over the course of 3 LPs, 2 singles, and some compilation action, Moonshine Willy endeared themselves to the nascent "alt-country" scene with a whiz-bang melding of rockabilly rumble, bluegrass chicanary, and punk chutzpah.  It was head-scratching stuff for a lot of folks at the time---too country for punk, too punk for country---but their energy onstage was undeniable.  And irresistible.

Holding the dubious distinction of signing the first Bloodshot Records contract (at Lou Mitchell's northside breakfast joint), Moonshine Willy were also the first Bloodshot band to start criss-crossing the country (in their RV--the Willybago) spreading the good word of our peculiar blending of punk and country.  They worked the phones, blazed the trails, made the connections at clubs and record stores and strung together scenes in far flung places like Dallas and Phoenix and Denver.  Sadly, they had the misfortune of coming along before anyone knew what to do with them.

We always thought Kim Docter was one of the most consistently underrated songwriters in our humble little stable--songs with pathos, brains, wordplay and hooks aplenty seemed to jump from her devilish brain. Original guitar player Nancy "The Bluegrass Hellcat"  Rideout, who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in 2007, consistently amazed the crowds with her unschooled, but fiercely unique, guitar/mandolin/banjo fireworks. We also consider violinist Rachel to be the first Bloodshot sex symbol (other than, naturally, Jon Langford, and while doghouse bassist Mike Luke always ranked in the top three of nicest people on the planet, we definitely liked having him on our side in bar fights.

Compilation Tracks: 
Recommended if You Like: 
Trampled by Turtles
The Gourds
Old 97's
Shovels & Rope
Southern Culture on the Skids
Squirrel Nut Zippers

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