You can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t always just a band by their covers either. Many times seeing a band perform a song by one of their influences gives you a great idea what to expect but not always. Take the band Moonshine Sorrow from Waterloo, Iowa. They rolled through St. Joseph on their way to Columbia, Missouri on tour and took a night to play at The Muny Inn relinquishing a unique and eclectic group of cover songs..
They played to a crowd expecting some rowdy country and they delivered. Some covers they did weren’t too surprising; hearing the Grateful Dead and Merle Haggard covers isn’t going to shock anyone in an environment such as this. As some of the prettiest girls in the town danced away in front of the band, a moment of shock followed the question ringing out of the speakers: “Does anybody out there like Rancid?” The band did apparently because they busted through “Radio” and later “Olympia, WA” by the West Coast punk band. Mixed in with the vintage outlaw country of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried” and the old blues classic “Mercury Blues” by K.C. Douglas it made for an interesting mix of covers. The best of their covers may have been even different yet with Hank III’s “Pill I Took” or the brilliant, underrated banjo playing musician from Iowa, William Elliott Whitmore’s “Hell or High Water.”
Moonshine Sorrow was far more than a cover band too, they put forth their own brand or rowdy country with songs like “While You’re Drinkin’” and “Streets of Waterloo.” Singer Rush Cleveland delivers an outlaw country croon on these while the other singer Sewerratt delivers more of a punkbilly approach on aggressive originals like “Feed Me, Fuck Me, Buy Me Weed.” Druncle Dutch feverishly blew his harp with Dammit Jim plugging away on the bass and Willie D handled the drums. They even have a sense of humor about playing empty bars, on their song “8 Hours For 2” where they proclaim “There ain’t nothin’ this old country band won’t do” which apparently includes driving 8 hours to play for 2 hours. They are already scheduled back in town again for early September and it will undoubtedly be a show worth catching.