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Mike and The Moonpies

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Muddy Bottom Blues

Program #271 (December 10 at 8:00pm and December 11 at 3:00pm)

Celebrated as Austin's premiere dancehall band, with popular residencies at local institutions like The Hole In the Wall, Broken Spoke and the White Horse to match, Mike and The Moonpies have spent years expanding their reach far beyond the Lone Star State.

Geographically, they'll always be a Texas band. Musically, they've grown into much more than that, having traded the two-steppin' twang of their earlier years for a diverse sound that's both fresh and familiar.

On-stage and on record, Austin's Mike and the Moonpies keep the torch of Texas country burning. Whether it's a hardcore two-step, freewheeling Western swing, Doug Sahm's Cosmic American Music, or George Strait's sweet, burnished ballads, Mike and the Moonpies tap into the traditions of the Lone Star State, yet their music feels nimble and fresh thanks to their deft interplay and sly touch.

A nascent version of Mike and the Moonpies premiered in 2008, with guitarist Catlin Rutherford leading a variety of musicians through a Monday night residency at the Hole in the Wall, a dive on the University of Texas drag. Toward 2010, the band solidified around Rutherford, vocalist Mike Harmeier, steel guitarist Zach Moulton, drummer Kyle Ponder, and bassist Preston Rhone, with this lineup releasing the independent The Real Country that year. Pianist John Carbone joined in 2011 and the band claimed the East Side venue the White Horse as its new Austin haunt. The following year found the band releasing its second album, The Hard Way.

Mike and the Moonpies continued to tour regularly, expanding to the rest of Texas. The group's third album, 2015's Mockingbird, began to earn them attention outside of Texas. After delivering a double-live album called Live at WinStar World Casino & Resort in 2016, the group returned in early 2018 with its fourth studio album, Steak Night at the Prairie Rose. 2019's Cheap Silver & Solid Country Gold signaled a bit of a left turn for the Moonpies. While on a tour of Europe, they made a stop at London's famed Abbey Road Studios to record this lush country effort backed by the London Symphony Orchestra.

(provided by Mike and the Moonpies, Allmusic)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."