The Moonshine
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The Moonshine

Athens, GA | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Athens, GA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Folk Rock





" Pop as Alt-Folk will ever get." - Mojophenia

"Independent Clauses"

"The history of folk and rock coming together is indeed long and storied, but in Levasseur’s hands it still sounds interesting and unusual." - Stephen Carradini - Independent Clauses

"Pop Matters"

"...some of the most engaging, energetic, and original material you’re likely to hear for quite some time... flies by in a whirlwind of incredibly smart instrumentation, songwriting, and melody. " - Steven Spoerl - Pop Matters

"Portland Mercury"

"...the velocity of punk rock with mellifluous traditional folk instrumentation... Levasseur is making authentic, relatively unadorned art in a musical landscape where people absolutely adore bullshit."
- Morgan Troper - Portland Mercury

"Onion A.V. Club"

"...more British post-punk than Americana. Are’s & Els gets rowdy at times, but it’s also darkly shaded, with melodies that seem to take shape on the fly..."
- Noel Murray - The A.V. Club

"The Deli Magazine Portland"

“Reminiscent of a trip across country, capturing the beauty of traditional sounds...The interplay between the calling vocals leaves the listener needing to sing along. ...moves and transforms to fit into a range of folk-inspired song structures, changing in an almost cinematic way. An example of the folk genre at its most dynamic, the nostalgic sounds within balanced by a crystal clear production. The next time you’re getting ready for a trip out of town be sure that you have this album to keep you company.” - Benjamin Toledo


"The Moonshine are from Portland, Oregon but they may as well be from the Appalachian mountains as their music is a vibrant mix of Folk, Country and traditional American music that sounds both olden and contemporary all at once. The music is open, honest and free of pretense which is a very good thing." - Peter Braidis

"Music News Nashville"

"The Moonshine traverse a musical landscape where the traditional and modern intersect, mixing old folk, traditional, and blues styles with indie rock and Americana. The fervor of a new generation crafting songs with an eye towards the past and a gaze towards the future." - Dan Harr

"The Willamette Week"

“If I could, I would pay Moonshine frontman Michael Gerard to follow me around with his guitar 24/7 and sing a soundtrack to my life. It would be something like that closing scene in Juno, except Gerard’s affectionate vocals and fetching folk melodies are significantly more uplifting than Michael Cera’s uncertain tweenie rasp. Rounded out with merry marauders on upright bass, autoharp, fiddle, and banjo, the Moonshine is a string band to be reckoned with.” - Grace Stainback

"The Portland Mercury"

“A rootsy plucker of a band, and there's a bit more than your typical huggy, hand-holding folk tucked away in their autoharp and banjo strums. Closer to gospel than Lumineers-y fashion folk, dealing with themes of mortality and finding hope in the darkness and the band's massed chorales don't hurt a whit.” - Ned Lannamann

"The Flagpole"

​"The Moonshine combines traditional Appalachian instrumentation with a lyrical restlessness and punk rock spirit, creating a unique but accessible Americana sound." - Gabe Vodicka

"Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine"

“The Moonshine gets the musical heritage of my Appalachian Mountains. There is conscious blending of the old and new here, sort of like moonshine in a martini glass...except this works better.” - Dave Stallard


And Now... The Moonshine (2014)
The Cuckoo's Crooked Path (2016)



The Moonshine is an idea on the rise. Taking the magic of the stringband as their foundation and journeying through the wilds of all music that has shaped them, this music is original and dynamic, with deep roots into Folk, Indie Rock, Oldtime, Gypsy and Cajun traditions.

After a chance meeting on a fire escape in Portland, Oregon, the husband and wife duo at the core of The Moonshine fell - luckily not off the fire escape - but instead in love, and they've been making music together since 2005. Songwriter Michael Gerard Levasseur (Michael the Blind) and multi-instrumentalist Rachael Renee'  founded the postmodern stringband The Moonshine in 2012 along with longtime bassist/musical partner J Elwood Johncox, freshly recruited gypsy/old-time fiddler Susanna Low-Beer and clawhammer banjo player Sara Wolf. Together they toured around the Western United States extensively and put out their first album in this format. In 2015 with the departure of Sarah, they brought the inimitable Maxwell Countryman Skewes into the fold to add bluegrass banjo textures. Just after releasing their second album, 2016 took Michael and Rachael across the country to Athens, Georgia, where they eventually hooked up with additional band members Rob Keller (Six String Drag) on bass, and classically trained violinist/fiddler Nicholas Lindell on fiddle. Guided by the vision of Michaels engaging lyricism and ephemeral arrangements, this shifting cast of talented Moonshiners bring their vibrating strings and vocal chords to original rock and roll songs, grassed-out rock covers, rocked-out bluegrass covers, and their indie rock take on old-time classics.

Lineup can vary according to needs and budget. Base lineup is Michael, Rachael, and Rob. 

The Moonshine have multiple fiddle players to play with and can bring banjo into the mix as well. 

Band members: 

Michael Gerard: Vocals, guitar, songwriting, whistles, effervescence
Rachael Renee': Vocals, harmonies, autoharp, mandolin, guitar, keys, shoutouts
Rob Keller: Harmonies, upright bass, slaps, zingers 
J Elwood Johncox: Harmonies, upright bass, mouth percussion, shaker 
Nicholas Lindell: Fiddle, viola 
Susanna Low-Beer: Harmonies, fiddle, viola, train whistle, puns 
Maxwell Countryman Skewes: Banjo, sassy jokes, slick moves

View our show calendar at

Band Members