Moonshine Society
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Moonshine Society

Washington, Iowa, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Washington, Iowa, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Blues R&B

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This past Friday, the bluesy rock band Moonshine Society performed a powerful set. Moonshine Society, a Washington, DC favorite, has played all over the world, and its members have worked with artists such as John Mayer and the Nighthawks. Moonshine’s growing popularity is well deserved. The band members, including Joe Poppen on guitar, Christopher Brown on bass, Pete Ragusa on drums, and Black Betty on vocals, have tremendous stage presence, engaging with the crowd and clearly having just as much fun as the audience.

Black Betty effortlessly belted classics like Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “Fever,” and the group even performed a bluesified Janet Jackson cover. Betty’s sultry low notes ascend crisply into powerful high belts, reminiscent of iconic blues artists. Her wide smile, soaring vocals, and rhythmic dancing captivated the crowd throughout the 3 hours. The band performed from 8 to 11, after which a DJ took over until 1. The DJ played more jazzy classics; but the evening really ended once the band left. Most of the audience ambled out after them, leaving the rooftop nearly empty. - Voice of Montgomery County


I've just been listening to the new Moonshine Society release, "Live in Shanghai" and overall it really rips. It's a 9 track release and includes some standards like "Bright Lights Big City" and "Big Boss Man" but it's the treatment and instrumentation on a number of the tracks that really interests me. The opening track, "Breaking Up" has a great guitar interlude that got me to lift my head... nice!
The third track, "Love Me Like a Man" is a remake of the Bonnie Raitt song but done with a totally different arrangement and again with some stellar harp and guitar work.
Another cover of "Rock Me" has nice harp and guitar backing taking it places that haven't been explored by other artists.
The final track, " Do What You Wanna Do" is a nice slow blues highlighting the entire bands talents and a great ending to an enjoyable recording. - Blues Report


Capitol Blues Messenger
Celebrating the Blues in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia
November 2010 Volume 4 Issue 11
Article written by Mike Flagg. Photos by Pat Bransford

"Moonshine Society gave, again in my opinion, the consistently best set of the night. Black Betty has a strong voice, tons of personality, and a tight grip on the material, which is more rhythm and blues-sounding than many blues bands, with rolling gospel-chord changes more reminiscent of Ray Charles than Howlin‘ Wolf, and definitely more sophisticated. Stuff like "Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody‘s Home", covered by everyone from Etta James to Bette Midler, and a slow blues called "Better than This" stood out. The guitar player, Joe Poppen (photo at right, with Black Betty), was the last big discovery of the night – fluid, tasteful, sophisticated, articulate, intelligent. He got a spongy, Robert-Cray-type tone from his Strat that sonically fit perfectly with this tight ensemble, and yet his playing is far more interesting than Cray‘s paint-by-numbers approach to soloing."

- Capital Blues Messenger


Joe Wade-
"Not only the hottest, but the best vocalist I have ever heard!!! Black Betty Rocks!!!"

Daniel Stevens-
"Black Betty carries her soul in her voice. Her voice can cut straight through you. If I didn't know better I would say she sold her soul to the devil at the crossroads in Mississippi to get that talent. "

J. Adams Illustration-
"Black Betty's voice is incredible!!! Totally inspiring. The tonality of her voice reaches deep into your soul and fills it with ecstasy."

Jennifer Chen-
"Love Moonshine Society! We don't get music like them anymore--they are a real diamond in the rough!"

Rob Sardella-
"Betty is a tremendously talented and enigmatic (not to mention sexy!!!) lead singer and the band has oodles of musical mojo!!!! Go see this band and have a blast!!!! " - WBZ-TV Channel 4 Boston


It was a week full of madness and rock'n'roll. The fans got a nice change of pace at the end of the night with the hard hitting Blues of Moonshine Society, a high note to close the evening with.
G. Clef - 15 Mar 2005
- Emergenza Music Festival


Glamour girls - Pinup revival revels in styles of the fabulous 1950s
By Tenley Woodman
Monday, July 24, 2006

Women active in Boston's underground rockabilly scene, a culture dedicated to the styles and country-rock music of the 1950s, are putting their twist on the classic pinup styles...Allston-based singer-songwriter/pinup Black Betty has gained national recognition for her work...

"Eighty percent of the time I'm Black Betty," said Jenny Langer, 22, lead singer of the band Moonshine Society. "For each of us girls, we are creating our own characters. I was kind of a geek growing up so once I got out of it I created Black Betty and she's strong, powerful and sexy."...

Black Betty, who trained at Berklee College of Music, is Mode Merr's artist of the month. Go to www.modemerr.com.

Visit this article and the photo gallery that goes with it at http://theedge.bostonherald.com/lifeNews/view.bg?articleid=149677&format=text
- Boston Herald July 24, 2006


Voodoo Man
2006

This band rocks to the beat of a thumping bass and solid drums, and are perfectly accompanied by powerhouse vocals that fall somewhere between Joan Jett and Janis Joplin. Black Betty however eschews the classic rock chick image in favour of more of a retro and iconic Betty Page look - a sort of burlesque & roll. Don't be fooled though, Betty can certainly belt out rock songs with the best of them.

The title track "Voodoo Man" is liberally peppered with a swamp blues sound that gives it extra depth, and although it is in some ways atypical of the rest of the album, it is certainly one of the real highlights. "Can't See The Sunshine" has just a hint of a funky beat that gives an edge to the rock sound; while "Big Slim" comes across as a collision of Sabbath and George Thorogood, and sees Betty replaced on vocals by guitarist John Kenning. On the other hand "All Right Now" is rock in its purest form - 100% proof and definitely one that should be taken undiluted to get the full impact.

The only down side to the CD is its length. Only seven tracks long it may be, fortunately though it comes up with the goods on all of them. On this evidence Betty is clearly a girl who can show you a good time ... or a bad time - and she has the habits to do both!

Rating of 4 carrots- "With this rating, we are in the zone. There will certainly be merit in the performance and perhaps even originality on show. No question that you will have to buy this album. A strange urge to tell strangers about the album will overcome us. We start planning which beer will best match the music." - The Bluesbunny Music Reviews


5 out of 5 stars! Dynamite Blues Rock band. Anyone living in Northeast, don't miss this band!
Reviewer: Michael Gauf

Black Betty and her voice sends chills down your spine. [They] are an extremely tight, well-practiced band that bring a host of emotions and reactions to their songs. My favorites on this CD are Vigilante, All Right Now and Fricasee. This CD and the visions of [the band] in concert are enough to make this Indianapolis resident consider a road trip for Betty and the Bruins. - CDbaby.com


People couldn't help but get up and dance as they enjoyed a day's worth of blues at the Roosevelt Center – the music just makes you want to move.

"People like the blues because you can get up and dance to it," said Jenny Langer, who does booking and public relations for the group Moonshine Society. "They want to get up and they want to boogie, and they want to do it to a live band."

Though this was the first time Moonshine Society played the festival, Sept. 11 marked the seventh year the Greenbelt Blues Festival has been held. And organizers felt this year was the best they've seen.

"This has been one of our most successful [festivals] in terms of attendance and quality of music," said Dorian Winterfeld of the nonprofit Friends Of New Deal Café Arts, the organization that sponsors the festival...

- Greenbelt Patch


"[Black Betty] may be young in age, but she's really an old soul," says Zampell, owner of Mode Merr clothing, and a former costumer for the Boston Lyric Opera. "She takes the business seriously. But she's also totally into dress-up and pretend."

Langer [aka Betty] is just as serious about exploring the roots and rituals of pinup culture, much as a young guitarist might mine old LPs for vintage Delta blues riffs..."

...Fundamentally, it's a scene as much character-driven as it is fashion-driven. Black Betty, for instance, a name borrowed from an old blues song, is a persona Langer slips into as comfortably as a sequined peasant blouse. Fronting her band Moonshine Society , which she with fellow Berklee alumni Joe Poppen and Chris Brown, she draws inspiration from Janis Joplin and Koko Taylor . But she layers on plenty of cheesecake, too, creating a vibe at once sonic and sartorial....

See the whole article at http://www.boston.com/yourlife/fashion/articles/2007/02/13/say_cheese/ - The Boston Globe


By A.L. Reeves/ Invasion Magazine
April 1, 2009

Big pipes, blazing guitar sounds, sexy personality and dancing girls- I don’t know what else you could ask for. This DC-based band has been rocking eclectic crowds since 2004 when the band formed at Berklee College of Music. But don’t let that stop you from checking them out- you’ll find no typical Berklee jazz cats here. Inspired by the looks of Dita Von Teese and Bettie Page, and the likes of Joplin, Koko, and Plant, you can’t help but be pulled into the live vocals and stage presence of this feisty firecracker.

….Killer music just isn’t enough- Check out the tasty visuals of this little rocker. An admitted myspace addict, I was a bit of a lurker once I found Black Betty’s profile through the band’s spot at myspace.com/blackbettyrocks ….
- Invasion Magazine


By Kerry Purcell/ Meet the Band
September 1, 2006

...Along with musical talent, Black Betty treats its audiences to an interesting visual aesthetic. Fronted by a rockabilly model, the band has guitarist Joe Poppen, with an afro and a Fu Manchu, close by her side. "The visual aspect and the character definitely come into play," said Black Betty, who often is recognized on the street for her distinctive long black hair and lacy ensembles...

The sound: Modern blues that grabs hold of your soul and rocks it.

Read more from the article here: http://theedge.bostonherald.com/musicNews/view.bg?articleid=155364&format=email - Boston Herald


BLACK BETTY ROCKS

Rock 'N Roll Pinup Sets a Standard

It's apparent that even if someone told 23-year-old Jenny Langer that it's tough getting by as a woman, she didn't even hear it. Langer, who is more widely known as Black Betty, is a Boston girl intent on re-defining what is is to be a sexy pinup and musician, as well as what it means to be a young woman.

(Published by the HJ Revival Project- "Raise your fingers, raise your shot glasses, and raise some mother fucking hell." Read more at myspace.com/coldcocked) - The HJ Revival Project


If you like the current crop of blues-flavored music acts that are crossing over into the indie-rock scene, the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach has a show you might be interested in Saturday.

Black Betty & Moonshine Society will play a free concert at the venerable nightspot. Betty – whose real name is Jenny Langer – said the band formed in Boston, while the members were attending the Berklee College of Music.

“Betty is a nickname I got at Berklee because people said I look like Betty Page,” she said. “I like burlesque, but I prefer to think of it as tongue-in-cheek. I like it because it leaves a little to the imagination.”

“We used to invite the local dancers to join us on stage in Boston,” she said.
Langer relocated to the Washington, D.C., area a few years ago, and her bandmates soon followed suit. “Joe Poppen, our guitarist, moved with me,” Langer said. “Then the rest of the guys slowly moved to D.C., too.”

The group is rounded out by keyboardist Wes Lanich, bassist Chris Brown and drummer Rob Cross.

While they favored a more alternative rock sound during their early days in Boston, the band’s focus has evolved into a soulful mix that recalls acts such as Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. They have since attracted a devoted college-age following.

“I think it’s because it’s groove-influenced music that you can dance to. I think people like Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone have made well-produced albums that sound really good,” Langer said. “Younger people don’t even think it’s retro, they just think it sounds fresh.”

From a marketing standpoint, it doesn’t hurt that Langer is fond of sexy stage wear and has posed for pinup-style photographs. This attracted the attention of the New York-based RockLove Jewelry company, which partnered with Langer to produce a collectible necklace. “Our fans liked it and it sold well,” Langer said. “Now we’re doing a second piece that’s aimed at men as well as women.”

While this will be the first time the band has played Dogfish, they are already familiar with both the beer and several of the brewpub chain’s various locations.

Langer said she vacations in the Dewey Beach area and has visited Dogfish locations in both Rehoboth and Gaithersburg, Md. “I love the beer. I offered to be paid in Midas Touch,” she said. “I’m a beer snob and I admit it. I like flavor in my beer.”

The band is also familiar with a couple of Dogfish’s regular headliners. “I think Nate Myers & the Aces are a fabulous band, and we know Girls, Guns & Glory from back in Boston,” she said. “We’re always crossing paths with them.”
- The News Journal


Winners of the 2005 RJL Battle of the Bands! Sponsored by
PIXY 103- Cape Cod's Rock, MDI Studios, Nimbit, Spilt Milk Tattoo Gallery, and many more!
www.rjlmemorialfund.com

Officially named one of 2005's Top Twelve Blues Bands in Boston by the Boston Blues Society!
www.bostonblues.com

Acknowledged as one of the best up and coming bands by Berklee College of Music at the 2006 New Music Festival!
www.berklee.edu

Artist of the Month on PIXY 103! Guests on the Suzanne Tonaire, "The Rock Babe's" Homegrown show, 2006
www.pixy103.com

Band of the Month on South Shore Muse! www.southshoremuse.com

Artist of the Month for Mode Merr Clothing! modemerr.com

Featured Artist on the HJ Revival Project Website (Rockabilly/Psychobilly Community)
- Multi


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

An international sensation often compared to Tedeschi Trucks Band, Albert King, and Teena Marie (Lady T), Moonshine Society was created by several young members of the Blues Hall of Fame featuring Berklee College of Music alumni and celebrity saxophonist Ron Holloway (Warren Haynes Band, Dizzy Gillespie).  Fans will tell you the band pays homage to the sounds of Mississippi blues, New Orleans funk, and Texas roots rock while keeping the sound fresh for a new generation of music lovers.

Since forming in 2008, the band has brought their twist on classic American music to China, Cuba, Japan, and throughout the US, breaking generational and cultural barriers, landing them as the #1 Blues Band in China on Reverbnation, "#1 Blues/Jazz Band in Shanghai" in TimeOut Magazine, "Top Don't Miss Show in Shanghai" from Delta Airlines Sky Mag, and more.  "I now have new respect for the Boston music scene," said Tony Van Veen, CEO/President of Disc Makers after the band brought down the house at the Disc Makers Boston Party.

Moonshine Society's debut album "Live in Shanghai" was released independently in late 2011. The full length album was recorded at the House of Blues and Jazz (Shanghai, China) after Chinese film star Lin Dong Fu (owner) personally selected and invited the band for a three month stay. The band and album have seen been nominated for three Wammies (for Best Blues/Trad. R&B Band, Best Blues/Trad. R&B Female Vocalist, and Best Blues/Trad. R&B album).

The band has performed with and opened for Johnny Winter, George Clinton & Funkadelic, Tab Benoit, Indigenous, Allen Toussaint, Snoop Dogg, Peaches, Roomful of Blues, Bernard Allison, Jimmy Thackery, WuTang Clan, Everclear, Puddle of Mud, Drowning Pool, and more.  Members of the Society have performed and recorded with artists such as John Mayer, The Allman Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Steve Ray Vaughn,, Susan Tedeschi, Brian Eno, and Gov't Mule, and more.

Past Show Highlights and Awards:

  • Musikfest (three years in a row)- Bethlehem, PA
  • Firefly Music Festival
  • House of Blues and Jazz (3 months, 2011)- Shanghai, China
  • Pregame performances for the Washington Nationals (Baseball)- Nationals Stadium, Washington, DC
  • Artscape- Baltimore, MD
  • Red, White & Blue Ball (Official Military Inaugural Ball)- Washington, DC
  • Reloaded at Gillette Stadium- Boston, MA
  • Memorial Day Festival- Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (USO)
  • Exotic Erotic Ball at the Cow Palace Arena- San Francisco, CA
  • Oak Barrel Blues Festival- Roanoke, VA
  • George Mason University Blues & BBQ Festival- Washington, DC
  • Colonial Beach Blues Festival (three years)- Colonial Beach, VA
  • Disc Makers Boston Party- Cambridge, MA
  • College Fest- Boston, MA
  • Celebrate Fairfax (three years) Fairfax, VA
  • Silver Spring Blues Festival 2009 and 2012- Silver Spring, MD
  • Berklee College of Music's New Music Festival- Boston, MA

Three Wammie Nominations (2013)- Best Blues/Trad. R&B Band, Female Vocalist, and Best Blues/Trad. R&B Band
American Blues Scene- Blues Top 5 Chart
Three members inducted into Blues Hall of Fame in 2012
WBZ-TV Channel 4 Boston- Nominated for Boston's Best Female Vocalist two years in a row
Pixy 103- Artist of the Month
Bostons Blues Challenge- Finalist
RJL Memorial Fund Battle of the Bands winner

Now featured on many major, college, internet and XM stations, Black Betty delivers aggressive yet graceful vocals, and shows that girls can be every bit as strong as guys while growling, crooning, and sweetly serenading.

Blues enthusiasts, college kids, burlesque lovers, and even biker bar regulars come together on the dance floors of a Moonshine Society show. Established in Boston, MA in 2006, the group made appearances throughout the USA and Cuba and relocated to Washington DC at the end of 2008. Today, the Society can be seen at clubs throughout the East Coast and internationally at various festivals, sports stadiums, clubs, private functions, and USO bases.

Endorsements:

Zipcar, Lakland Guitars, Rocklove Jewelry (featuring the Black Betty posey necklace and Moonshine Necklaces), Mode Merr Clothing, Painted Axe Guitar, Gothfox, ColoRiffic (custom pick guards), and To Die For Clothing.

Band Members