I stumbled across The Moondoggies on an NPR blog detailing the "Top 11 Debut Albums of 2008." I listened to their stuff and put them on my Amazon wishlist, but my wish didn't come true until three weeks ago. Initially I dismissed The Moondoggies as a poor man's Blitzen Trapper, but after giving Don't Be a Stranger a full spin, I quickly realized the error of my ways. There are strains of BT in there, but also Dr. Dog, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Band, and even Wilco. Yes, I think their sound is that diverse.
There's just something magical about [semi-Southern] rock, summer, and a road trip. I piped this album through my stereo as I traveled to my parents' house for the 4th of July and what a glorious soundtrack Stranger proved to be. I can't think of an album I'd rather have blaring while I'm driving down the highway with the windows rolled down.
The somewhat surprising aspect of Stranger, especially since these boys are from Seattle, is the [mostly successful] employment another Southern tradition: gospel. This is most evident in the song "Jesus on the Mainline," but it feels less forced in "Save My Soul," and "Ain't No Lord," the latter of which boldly proclaims: "Ain't no Lord gonna judge me now, / Ain't no one gonna put me down, / Ain't no home to rest my bones, / Ain't no woman gonna put me down." Clearly, The Moondoggies have also embraced another Southern tradition: abusing the English language. :)
Blurb: Don't Be a Stranger is not only one of last year's best debut albums, it's one of last year's best records. Period... err, exclamation point!
Unfortunately, they don't have a music video, so all I could find were live performances and and a "video" ... none of these are my favorite songs: