By Robert Dean
In case you live under a rock, Moonrunners Festival 4 is happening again this summer. Being a former Moonrunner, it thrills me to my core to see the festival alive and well. Jahsh and Elle have managed to find a niche within Chicago and crank it way up. And to boot, the festival keeps getting better.
Like many of the Chicago festivals, Moonrunners fills a hole that many people hadn’t realized was missing: for three days at Reggie’s on the city’s south side, you’ll get an array of talents that are awe-inspiring and bewildering, just the same – all of which are very much Non – Chicago.
Who knew so many folks in the crown jewel of the Midwest liked good country music? Sure, buck-toothed fuck face Luke Bryan call sell out arenas anywhere in the country, but show me a packed room of ugly bastards swaying to Jeff Shepard, and I’ll ask what time you I need to eat something before we get smashed.
In the past, Moonrunners has had an interesting lineup shuffle. From country to bluegrass, street punk, rockabilly, blues – the lineup has had a lot of looks. This year, though, it feels like the show has a theme, a sense of identity. Bands don’t seem misplaced, nor ad hoc. Moonrunners 4 comes off as masterfully put together and offering a little something for everyone.
Consider in one weekend, July 1-3, you get to see Supersuckers, Dale Watson, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, highlonesome, Pearls Mahone, etc., etc., etc. There’s a lot to like about this year’s lineup, and only good things can come from such a well-rounded list.
One thing that works decidedly in the favor of the artists, the wonton feel of the old school SXSW – there’s a lot of talent to be discovered and enjoyed. Not everyone may know That Ol’ Coondog, but chances are they’ll leave a fan. That’s one of the endearing aspects of Moonrunners; it’s a hangout with epic drinking sessions that isn’t to be missed.
If you’ve got an itch to make plans for the summer, I suggest skipping up to Chicago and getting your foot stomp on to some good music that soothes the soul. Tell em’ we sent ya.
Tickets available here: http://www.reggieslive.com/show/moonrunners-music-festival-4-2/