JB and The Moonshine Band will release their third studio album, Mixtape, on June 30th and the album’s title could not be more appropriate! Mixtape is a true…mixtape, showcasing the band’s versatility on tracks pure country, rock and places in between. As well as being sonically varied, the album also touches on diverse themes, both the familiar (love and heartache), and unique (the Second Amendment and utilizing songwriting as a place for social commentary).
Mixtape kicks off with current single “Shotgun, Rifle and a .45” and keeps the energy high with “You Can’t Take My Backroads” which isn’t your typical backroads song. The song has a pulse and a nostalgic feel. “You can’t take my backroads, you can’t steal my red dirt road memories.” That feeling is also found in the title track, which flawlessly details the experience of making a mixtape for someone special.
Tear in your beer ballad “How Can I Miss You” is lyrically and melodically a classic country song while “Light It Up” cranks it up quite a few notches with serious rock attitude. That’s followed by “Close Enough to Heaven,” a roots rocker about finding something close enough to the Promised Land on earth with the one you love.
Filled with the crunch of guitars, “Wagon” speaks of avoiding temptation while the rollicking, sure to be crowd pleaser “Good Lord’s Grace” talks about straddling that line between sinner and saint.
“Mess Outta Me” tells of heartbreak and promises broken. “So I guess I’ll pack a bag and pick a highway/‘Cause it don’t feel like this is where I outta be/You tried so hard to make me into what you wanted me to be, but you made a mess outta me.” While “Keep A Couple Beers Cold” is a mid-tempo love song hoping she’ll find a way back.
The album is rounded out by two standout tracks. The gentle, reflective “Back When We Were Kids” and “Where’s Woody Guthrie.” The latter, co-written by Allen Shamblin, talks about when songwriters were also poets, expressing their views honestly in their songs with their “guitar gun.”
JB and The Moonshine Band’s album is the real deal, a genuine Mixtape, with varied sounds that when assembled, just work. It’s a record with heart and grit. So pop it in and press play.