The work of Brooklyn-based artist Moon Shine reflects the varied background of its creator, Angie Glasscock. Memphis soul, Nashville country and LA polish are combined on Moon Shine’s debut album, The Land in Between, named after Glasscock’s familial itinerance and the search for a home of her own.
Glasscock’s origin story is explored in the album’s title cut. “The Land in Between” kicks off with a stirring Wurlitzer line and the beginning of the singer’s travels – “I was born in Memphis/But didn’t stay long.” After moving to California, Mom and Dad split up, Dad moved to Tennessee, and a long childhood of constant travel (perhaps presaging her life as a musician) began – “Back and forth/We’re traveling/Between two extremes.” The music, spiced with horns and Glasscock’s smooth voice, keeps the narrative flowing.
Glasscock and producer/guitarist Teddy Kumpel assembled a seasoned band of ace players for the recording sessions, and it shows best in songs like “Ain’t Broken-Hearted.” Fiddle (Charlie Burnham), piano (Todd Caldwell) and Kumpel’s guitar play off each other as Glasscock wryly dismisses a cheating lover – “Say you got a sick mother/That may be true…That ain’t your sick mother/I’m smelling on you.” And “Songbird of the Mountains” swings back east with Kumpel’s mandolin and a gorgeous fiddle solo from Burnham, who also chips in on vocals on “The Promise.”
But the focus on The Land in Between never strays far from Glasscock’s familial travels. “Better a Pearl” is an easygoing road song which finds meaning in both the destination and the journey – “There’s a light/At the end of the tunnel…It leads to an open road” (one of my favorite lines of the year). And “Exile of Youth” flashes back to Glasscock’s father before he made the choices that split the family in the first place. Against a suitable western background, featuring standout slide work from Kumpel, Glasscock reveals a man who was, even as a boy, a big-dreamed wanderer – “People said Daddy was full of himself/Thought he was better than everybody else/Truth is, he was full of Texas” – who was subsequently isolated from his own family before he had a chance to grow up. Glasscock herself has taken the best of those instincts – big dreams and a penchant for the road – and used that impulse to conjure up Moon Shine, which was inspired by the simple notion of “women shining.” And shine she does on her debut.
Song I Can’t Wait to Hear Live: “Ain’t Broken-Hearted” – An old-time swing of a tune and Glasscock’s sly sacking of her partner make for great storytelling.
The Land in Between was produced by Teddy Kumpel. All songs (save a cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Right in Time”) were written by Angie Glasscock, with co-writes going to Kumpel, Additional musicians on the album include Kumpel (electric guitars, acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, shaker, tambourine, background vocals, Cat Popper (electric bass, acoustic bass, background vocals), Steve Williams (drums, shaker), Todd Caldwell (Wurlitzer piano, organ, piano, Fender Rhodes, melodica, accordiotone), Charlie Burnham (fiddle, vocals), Mark Spencer (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pedal steel), Michael Blake (tenor saxophone), Bruce Harris (trumpet) and Don Heffington (drums).
Stream The Land in Between beginning November 11 (CDs coming soon):
Enjoy our previous coverage here: Song Premiere: Moon Shine “Ether of My Mind”