The Moonshine Brigade is just as the title describes: it is a collection of poetry, political commentary and a depiction of one’s intoxication with our Northern moonlight and social contradictions.
This CD is by Dana Sipos and, while she is not a Yukoner, she recorded this album at Old Crow Studios, just south of Whitehorse.
This CD contains 12 songs, ranging in style from folk, to blues, to pop and a little jazz. We are guided through each message with a clear and stylish voice. Sipos uses the break in her voice carefully, so as not to overdo it. This lends a different quality and some welcome variety to each song.
Because this CD was recorded in the Yukon, Sipos was able to solicit the remarkable talent of Bob Hamilton, who adds a wide range of instruments to the mix. Annie Avery adds her renowned keyboard skills, Dave Haddock plays bass and Lonnie Powell plays drums.
Throughout this CD, the lyrics are clean, precise and send out a true message. The song Strings of a Revolution gives a strong political commentary while letting us groove in our seats and tap our toes to the beat. Daybreak Heartbreak has a cool, jazzy feel and even contains a kazoo solo.
I would say The Moonshine Brigade is a great coffee-shop CD. We are, after all, a coffee-shop generation: we have meetings over coffee; we do our homework with latte in hand and laptop on the table and we often join our family and friends for a java break.
The collection of songs on this CD is nonintrusive, yet it presents a scintillating musical experience for the coffee-shop listener. It is, in fact, the kind of music that would make me go up to the counter and say, “I really like this music. What CD is playing?”
I recommend a listen to this CD even if you are not a café music connoisseur. The Moonshine Brigade gives the listener a feel-good soundtrack for a cozy, thoughtful afternoon, and you will no doubt appreciate the great musical poetry in this work as it captures the beauty of the North.
Sipos sums it up in her song, Aurora:
I’ve been north, and I may never love another now,
That I’ve spent a night with the lights.
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