Blue Moon Boys / Sticks and Stones
September 16, 1999
There's plenty of debate about who's the hardest working man/woman/group in show business, but there's no question who's the hardest working band in Fort Wayne. Stick and Stones is the third CD release from the Blue Moon Boys in the past year, and in many ways it's the best one so far. While the first release in the trilogy of CDs, Live in New York, contained many established BMB favorites, there were a few of the band's best songs that didn't make the cut. Sticks and Stones fills in the gaps and gives fans a more complete recorded collection of BMB staples. One of the more obvious omissions from Live in New York was the South-of-the-Border combo of "Hellfire!" and "Mandolina," but the pair of tunes is here, as are rambling classics "Baby Bat Those Eyes (of Blue)" and "I Got the Worst."
A particularly startling aspect of this studio-recorded project is the relatively tranquil performances by the usually barely controllable Nic Roulette. On songs like "Plain to See" and "I Should Have Shut My Mouth Instead," where Roulette generally explodes during live performances, he turns it down a notch and lets the songs stand on their own; although it removes a bit of the standard BMB fury, it makes the songs seem even stronger.
Sticks and Stones also shows off the Blue Moon Boys' flexibility in the genre-spanning arena. The band travels effortlessly from the twang of "Smashed Down Flat" to the full-speed rock of "She's Mean As Hell" and "The Monkey Song" to the soft croon of "My Rocky Moon."
If you're a fan of the Blue Moon Boys, you'll definitely want to have all of their releases, but if you can only afford one of them and since Live in New York is out of print Sticks and Stones is probably the one you'll want to pick up.
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