Album Feature – Mike and The Moonpies – Touch Of You – The Lost Songs Of Gary Stewart

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May 262020
 

By Joshua Wallace

You might know the music of Gary Stewart from such hits as “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinking Doubles)” or “Drinkin’ Thing” which both appeared on the same album called Out Of Hand.  If you haven’t heard that one, I highly recommend checking it out.  You can hear Gary Stewart’s influence on Mike and The Moonpies music and when you do, you will know that they were the perfect band for a project such as this.  Here we have 10 unrecorded songs co-written by Gary Stewart during the late 70’s and 1980’s.  These were songs that for whatever reason, did not make it on any recorded albums.  The band worked closely with Stewart’s daughter, Shannon Stewart, and his best friend Tommy Schwartz to compile the tracks for this project.  This album was meant to be released later in the year, but the band was able to finish it remotely during the recent “stay-at-home” orders.  Let’s check out some of the tracks they came up with.

The album kicks off with a straight up honky tonk number in “Bottom Of The Pile”.  It’s a song about the rowdiest honky tonk you’ve ever been in and it’s sure to get some dance floors moving at your next live Moonpies show.  Switching things up, we have the duet of “Smooth Shot Of Whiskey”.  Mike trades lines and harmonizes with Mark Wystrach of Midland.  It’s a smooth (no pun intended) ballad.  This sounds like it would fit right in on an early 80’s country radio station.  Another favorite is “Dance With Barbara”.  Every bar has a Barbara, and all of the guys want to dance with her.  This one is sure to make the dance floors shuffle.  I love the interplay of the pedal steel and lead guitar on this one.  

Another great dance floor tune is “The Gold Barstool”.  It’s a great shuffle with more killer lead guitar work, however it is the songwriting that is the star here.  If you work at a company for a long time, you typically get a gold watch or something for working in a place for 20 years.  Well, at this bar you get a gold barstool for drinking there for 20 years.  How’s that for celebrating good times?  It’s songs like this that show how great of a songwriter Gary Stewart could be.  Slowing things down a bit, we have the bluesy number called “I’m Guilty”.  The guitar work is smooth and awesome here, but I love Mike’s vocal performance on this one as it’s one of his better tracks over the years.  Finally, we have “Heart At Home” which is a bit of a different style for Mike and The Moonpies.  Some slow piano work by Dave Perceful kicks off the track before it goes into a smooth easy listening country ballad.  It’s a great change of pace as you don’t often hear this style of country these days.

Mike and The Moonpies have put together a great tribute to the talent that is Gary Stewart.  It’s a treat for longtime Gary Stewart fans who have new songs to dig into.  It’s also a treat for newer Gary Stewart fans who are discovering his music through Mike and The Moonpies.  While it’s still very much a Moonpies record, the band also taps into sounds from Gary Stewart’s era of late 70’s and early 1980’s country that fans don’t get to hear much of these days. I cannot wait to hear some of these songs live as it sounds like a good live record.  Touch Of You – The Lost Songs Of Gary Stewart will be available everywhere at 12:01 AM on Thursday May 28th, 2020.  This record is only available digitally at first, however there will be physical items to pre-order in the future.  Check out the band’s website for more info soon.

Favorite Tracks : Bottom Of The Pile, Smooth Shot Of Whiskey, Dance With Barbara, The Gold Barstool, I’m Guilty, Heart At Home

Mike and The Moonpies – Touch Of You – The Lost Songs Of Gary Stewart (2020)

  1. Bottom Of The Pile
  2. Smooth Shot Of Whiskey (feat. Mark Wystrach of Midland)
  3. Touch Of You
  4. Life’s A Game
  5. Dance With Barbara (feat. Courtney Patton)
  6. The Gold Barstool (feat. Zac Wilkerson)
  7. That’s Life
  8. The Finished Product
  9. I’m Guilty
  10. Heart At Home (feat. Jamie Lin Wilson and Courtney Patton)

 

10 Most Anticipated Country Albums Out This Summer

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May 262020
 

By Joshua Wallace

As uncertainty becomes more and more a part of the new normal, it’s good to know that we can still count on some great country music albums coming up in the near future.   We’ve got some quality records coming out in 2020 and it’s shaping up to be a big release year.  COVID-19 has changed up the release schedule a bit, however, I have included albums with as solid of a release date as I can on this list.  Check out our 10 most anticipated country albums out this summer.

Mike & The Moonpies – Touch of You – The Lost Songs of Gary Stewart – May 28th

Mike and The Moonpies just announced this release last week.  It’s a collection of unreleased songs written by Gary Stewart and as soon as I heard about this record, it jumped to the top of my list.  The Moonpies are one of the best honky tonk bands around and I’m looking forward to what they can do with some lost Gary Stewart songs.  It’s a good thing we only have to wait a couple of days for this one.  It comes out Thursday May 28th.  This album is only available digitally at first, with physical items to come in the future.

 

 

Jaime Wyatt – Neon Cross – May 29th

Shooter Jennings has been on a tear lately as a producer and this new Jaime Wyatt album is looking to be no different.  This album features guest appearances by Shooter Jennings himself and his mother Jessi Colter.  I was a big fan of her 2017 album Felony Blues and cannot wait to see what she has as a follow up.  This one is out in a couple of days on May 29th.

 

John Baumann – Country Shade – June 5th

I first discovered John Baumann with his 2017 album Proving Grounds.  I was a huge fan of tracks like “Lonely In Bars” and “The Trouble With Drinking”.  Baumann was also a part of the Texas country super group The Panhandlers who released one of my favorite albums of 2020 so far.  I’m really looking forward to this solo record and if songs like “Next Ride Around The Sun” and “The Country Doesn’t Sound The Same” are any indication, Baumann has another big record here.  I’m looking forward to this one out in early June.

 

Hellbound Glory – Pure Scum – June 5th

I have been a fan of Hellbound Glory for a long time.  Their last album Pinball was a big favorite here at Gary Hayes Country and it sounds like Pure Scum will be the same.  Shooter Jennings is producing this record (his second on this list).  If singles like “Dial 9-1-1” and “Ragged But Alright” are any indication, this record will be high on our year end Top 50 lists.  This one is out in June.

 

Bryan James – Politics or Religion – June 11th

I first became a fan of Bryan James with his 2017 record “Between The Devil and The Angel”.  This album featured a pure country sound and had many great songs across it’s 19 tracks.  Fast forward to 2020 and we have his highly anticipated follow-up album Politics Or Religion coming up in June.  Check out a preview of the album here.

 

Kyle Nix – Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories – June 26th

When I heard Kyle Nix of the Turnpike Troubadours was going solo, I knew this would be a good one even before I heard the first single.  If that’s not enough, when you hear that members of Turnpike Troubadours serve as his backing band, then you know this will be a good one.  That was all confirmed when “Lightning On The Mountain” was released as the first single.  Now I can’t wait for the end of June for this record to come out.

 

Kyle Keller – All It Does Is Rain – June 27th

I have been a fan of Kyle Keller for a while.  His 2017 EP was a collection of raw and real acoustic tracks.  You can expect more sparse instrumentation here on All It Does Is Rain as the sad songs and stories are at the forefront of Kyle Keller’s music.  If you’re a fan of good songwriting and slow acoustic sad country and folk songs, this album is for you.  Look for it everywhere you can stream music on June 27th.  I have also heard we might be getting a single released from this one soon.

 

Joshua Ray Walker – Glad You Made It – July 10th

Joshua Ray Walker blew me away with his 2019 debut album Wish You Were Here.  He’s got an amazing voice and great songwriting skills to match.  Earlier this year he released a new song called “Voices” that allows him to stretch his vocal chords out even further.  I can’t wait to hear this entire album and we will be able to in early July.

 

S.G. Goodman – Old Time Feeling – July 17th

I first came across the music of S.G. Goodman through Spotify’s Indigo playlist.  I was immediately drawn in by her voice which is very raw and unique.  Her music comes across like a mix of Kentucky influences and a blend of rocking Mississippi delta blues.  I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album as her early release singles have been very solid.  This one is out in July.

 

The Texas Gentlemen – Floor It!!! – July 17th

Finally, we have a new record from the Texas country funk outfit The Texas Gentlemen.  You have most likely heard The Texas Gentlemen serving as Paul Cauthen’s backing band on his albums like his 2019 release Room 41.  They also have a previous album out called TX Jelly from 2017 that you should check out.  This band is recommended if you like heavy doses of funk in your country.  Check out the single “Bare Maximum” and the album is out in July.

 

 

Be sure to check back here at Gary Hayes Country for coverage on all of these and more great albums coming out soon.