Moonlight Rodeo - Mississippi Sunset

Number of Discs
Release Date
Moonlight Rodeo
CD / Album
Label / Studio
Santa Venetia Records


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Singer/songwriter/guitarist Kurt Huget has been the dominant force in the San Francisco Bay Area band Moonlight Rodeo all along, but the ensemble has gradually given way from being an actual group to whoever happens to be in the studio with the leader. The country-rock quintet that made a self-titled debut album in 1999 was gone but for Huget by the time the second album, Rio Lindo, appeared in 2005, replaced by a different female co-lead singer, pedal steel guitarist, bassist, and drummer. More significantly, on that CD Huget began adding in as guests veteran musicians associated with San Francisco rock bands like Big Brother & the Holding Company, Country Joe & the Fish, and the Grateful Dead. That tendency is so far accentuated on the third album, Mississippi Sunset, that there doesn't seem to be any permanent unit, just sidemen sitting in. In addition to Huget, Earl Hopping, who was the Moonlight Rodeo bassist on the first album, but not the second, reappears on 11 of 13 tracks here, and Mike Spinrad, who was the drummer for Rio Lindo, on four. But another batch of Bay Area veterans has been drafted in, including Peter Albin and David Getz of Big Brother, Augie Meyers (the Sir Douglas Quintet), and David Freiberg (Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Starship). Freiberg's large presence (in addition to playing, he mixed and mastered the album) highlights the disc's relationship to Quicksilver, in particular its late guitarist John Cipollina, whose previously unrecorded composition "Coco" is included, and for whom Huget wrote the song "Quicksilver Man." Huget even played Cipollina's guitar on the album. As such, the style is less country rock than mainstream pop/rock with a strong ‘60s San Francisco rock bent. Huget writes sturdy songs that serve as vehicles for improvisatory soloing, particularly by harmonica player Norton Buffalo and saxophonist Martín Fierro. Moonlight Rodeo may only barely exist as an autonomous group apart from its guest stars, but the result on Mississippi Sunset is an album in the Bay Area rock tradition. ~ William Ruhlmann

1) Sentimental Rain (04:47)
2) I'm Ready for Love (03:09)
3) Katie (04:22)
4) Coco (03:59)
5) Groovement (05:18)
6) Three Shades into the Blues (05:16)
7) Friday Forgets (02:57)
8) Ain't Gonna Muddy the Waters (04:07)
9) Mississippi Sunset, Louisiana Moon (02:59)
10) Quicksilver Man (05:31)
11) Still Water (04:44)
12) Bad Road Blues (03:29)
13) My Madeline (07:47)

Mississippi Sunset
Main Format
Explicit Lyrics
Keyword Index
Mississippi Sunset | Moonlight Rodeo