The Norman Transcript

N-town reviews

March 14, 2014

Music review: Goodnight Moonshine offers fresh sound

NORMAN — Musician: Molly Venter and Eben Pariser

Album name: Goodnight Moonshine

Why you should listen: It’s the rare 21st century professional musician who has just one project. Molly Venter and Eben Pariser are no exceptions. Venter played here in Norman at the Winter Wind concert series late last year with her main gig Red Molly. Pariser is lead vocalist and bass player for retro hipster (“Steamboat Soul”) quartet Roosevelt Dime based in Brooklyn. Considering the evidence presented in their debut 11 song Goodnight Moonshine album, there’s a case to be made that there shouldn’t be any distractions from this endeavor.

They’ve forged a fresh sound that incorporates a slew of influences while equally utilizing the unique talents of each musician. It’s a sophisticated flavor of Americana that manages something most music in this genre either doesn’t attempt or can’t do. That not so little feat is creating an amalgamation of country and city sounds. Goodnight Moonshine doesn’t create this blend in every track. It’s spread out like the remote plains, small towns and cities of America are interspersed across the map. The songs aren’t all folk or jazz or adult contemporary music. Rather they borrow promiscuously from these and more.

“Work I Done” is a song Venter wrote after spending a Father’s Day afternoon visiting the Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum. Although it’s about historically male-dominated occupations, it’s sung with her feminine lead vocals rather than Pariser’s, which is genius. “Dark Side of the Rainbow” is a mash up of Pink Floyd and the Judy Garland classic with paired vocal solos that miraculously work in this unlikely combination. It’s so much more entertaining than the duo showing off perfectly harmonized vocals on some other song. “End of the World Blues” bears mention if for no other reason than nearly everyone has had the annoying experience that inspired this song. It’s when a churchly pair knocks on the door and proceeds to share their unsolicited opinion on end times. It’s enough to make you want to say goodnight and then pour a shot of moonshine.

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