David Noah himself has posed the question “Does country music need another whiskey song?” I think that the answer is a resounding yes…or should that be “hell yeah!” It’s a bit like asking if rock and roll still needs ridiculously long guitar straps and a foot on the monitor. Like suggesting that indie music isn’t about complicated hair and designer label clothing. Like asking if pop starlets might not be more comfortable in lower heels and a comfortable cardigan! Some things are just part of a genres DNA and if you put country music under the microscope you would see that at its very core it is woven from pick-up trucks, faithful dogs, regret and, most important of all, whiskey.
And even if you think that such a subject matter might have come close to being exhausted, Moonlight and Whiskey will persuade you otherwise. Between the lilting rhythms, the emotive and poetic lyrics, the reflection and revelations, the street level wisdom, the rising dynamics and the lulling musical understatements, you will find that the song works its magic on even the most stubborn souls.
But that’s the test isn’t it? Even if you start out thinking that you have heard it all before, any song which can charm and chime with such persuasiveness, which makes you greet it with open arms, not to mention open ears, which may be leaning on some generic stereotypes but which finds new places to take them and new ways to deliver them, is certainly a song which stands out from the pack. And Moonlight and Whiskey is certainly all of those things.