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Moonshine Willy

Bloodshot Digest August 28th, 2009

As some of us get ready to run out the door and head to Boston for our 15th Anniversary Shindig at the Middle East, here are some nifty goings on:

  • Andre Williams recently recorded a new album for us in the Motor City with Matt Smith (Outrageous Cherry, Volebeats, Nathanial Mayer) at the controls.  Sitting in with them was Motown guitar legend Dennis Coffey.  Read about Dennis and the recording in the Detroit Metro Times here.
  • Scott H. Biram played the Off Broadway in St Louis earlier in the month, and Lo-Fi STL was there to capture it on video.  Check Scott out in all his feral glory here
  • Wayne Hancock submitted himself to some vigorous questioning by our buddies at PopMatters.com. Want to know what movie makes Wayne cry?  His favorite albums?  Can he rap?  Looky here for answers.
  • The Chicago/Hideout Party is shaping up with the addition of the Drunken Spelling Bee and Belt Sander Races.  Also, we are so happy to have a reunion show by Moonshine Willy. Here's an interview with singer/guitarist Kim Docter on the Beechwood Reporter

Now, time to get some fresh scallops....

See you this week in Boston, and next week in Philly.  Where should I go for cheesesteaks and lobster rolls?

 

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

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