moonlight 5 - The I-94 Bar

2020 Barfly Top Ten: Chris Virtue

chris virtue 2020CHRIS VIRTUE
Sydney radio host*
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Top Ten in Twos

1. Two Hendrix covers

Lucie Tiger – The Wind Cries Mary"
Sydney country singer transcribes one of Jimi’s more melodic tunes for solo piano with stunning effect, but leaves the song intact. Lucie acknowledges where it’s come from, but takes it somewhere new. Hear it

Lachie Doley - "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)"
Sydney blues and soul keyboard master gives the whammy clavvy a serious workout on this. Check out the vid.

2. Two political songs

Chuck Prophet – "Get Off The Stage"
Subtle demolition job on the soon to be Toddler-in-Chief. The late great John Prine rates a mention even though the song was recorded pre-Covid because (as Chuck said when I interviewed him) everyone needs to listen to John Prine.

Matthew Caws– "When History Comes"
Nada Surf front man delivers one of the best protest songs in decades. Totally in your face without being cruel and ends with a rallying call to vote because “it’s important”.

Moonlight 5 rises again

lockdown blues cvrLockdown Blues - Moonlight 5 (Aldora Britain Records)

Guitarist Ed Garland has one of those gut-bucket voices which command your attention. I can't tell you if Moonlight 5 will be significant or not; but they're certainly getting attention around the world at the moment. Their knowingly lopsided-shrug blues slubs along the railroad, fed up and helpless, waiting for the crows to poke at their carcass. Fabulous use of horns, too; comparisons to Tom Waits are inevitable but mistaken.

The clip for “Lockdown Blues” shows US chain-gang convicts through a sepia filter, with the additional topicality of the stupidvirus - which we're slaves to; both clips use a familiar US slavery/ convicts as an allegory for an Australian context - this doesn't usually work, but does here (you'll have to watch the clips now) because they hint at wider concerns. Either way, both are the kind of thing you want to show your friends.

They got those Lockdown Blues

“Lockdown Blues” is a new project for Sydney musician and I-94 Bar scribe Edwin Garland (Waxworks, Dwarfthrower) with his studio band Moonlight 5. It’s Edwin on vocals and guitar, John Cobbin on guitar and bass, Elizabeth Lim on bass clarinet, Jim O'Sullivan on drums and Digby Richards on organ and piano. 

I-94 Bar