The Moonshine brings unique sound with folk, rock tones

Lynne Cope Hummell


The Moonshine brings unique sound with folk, rock tones

The Athens, Ga.-based string band The Moonshine, described as an eclectic mix of folk, bluegrass, rock and roots music, will perform at 8 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Roasting Room, 1297 May River Road in Bluffton, above the Corner Perk in the Promenade.

Also appearing is the Cory Chambers Jazz Band.

The string band trio includes singer-songwriter Michael Gerard Levasseur as lead vocalist and guitarist, his wife Rachael ReneƩ on autoharp, and Evan Bradford on upright bass.

Lavasseur describes the sound of the band as "roots music born of the endless wonder of the open countryside, the hum of tires on tarmac, and the pulsing pace of the city."

Promotional material says the band is "original and dynamic, a rhythmic network of folks and songs from everywhere and nowhere ... (T)his is music complex enough to be savored intently and rhythmic enough for dancing late into the night."

The band originated in Portland, Ore., rising from the ashes of a previous group that played "as loudly as we could," Levasseur said.

Toning down the "noise" and rethinking their sound, plus focusing more on the meaning of their music, The Moonshine received a great response from regular listeners at a weekly gig.

They developed a large repertoire of both traditional music and Levasseur's originals and took their show on an extended and wandering tour of the West Coast, Montana and Idaho for three years. Levasseur, who was raised in South Carolina but has traveled widely, said though the five-piece band started in Portland, it really came together on the road.

The Moonshine released its second CD, "The Cuckoo's Crooked Path," in 2016. "The album is a chronicle of all that tapping into older styles of music has taught me, and I couldn't have been blessed with a better band for the making of it," Levasseur said.

Now relocated to Athens, Ga., and slimmed down to just three members, the band still performs a mix of "unconventional" music, mostly Levasseur's originals, inspired and informed by many musicians who came before him. "I love borrowing from traditional song structures without mimicking them," he said, "sometimes eschewing structure altogether, or not worrying if a song has only a verse and chorus, or is mostly just one big chorus - as long as the meaning is addressed to my satisfaction."

Doors open at 7 p.m. with music at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $15 each, with reserved seating $18.75 to $20. Tickets may be purchased at www.RoastingRoomLounge.com.