Moonlight Rodeo

Moonlight Rodeo

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The Marin County, CA, country-rock band Moonlight Rodeo, led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Kurt Huget, is in the tradition of such predecessors as the New Riders of the Purple Sage, boasting a style reminiscent of the Bakersfield sound. Singer Kristen Wells takes more than half of the lead vocals (including "What Will I Do," which she co-wrote), singing in a warm alto of love gone wrong. Huget contributes some vocals of his own and pairs with Mayne Smith (pedal steel, Dobro) on some picking in the instrumentals "Shiftin' Gears" and "Shifting Sands." Bassist Earl Hopping completes the permanent lineup, although the drumming is divided up by Don Connolly and Brent Rampone. At this early stage in their development, Moonlight Rodeo are not far removed from a bar band, although their playing and Huget's songwriting show promise. (By the time that Moonlight Rodeo released their second album, Rio Lindo, in 2005, only Huget remained from the configuration that had recorded this first CD.)