At the end of 2010, I received this wonderful album from Ripple Music and since then I do not want to miss it. MODERN DAY MOONSHINE has nothing at all to do with heavy riffs or downtuned guitars. Instead, the listener is invited to a stroll through U.S. American music history, including jazz, blues, westcoast, funk and rock. This might not catch the headlines but I can assure you that 'Refuge' is an outstanding piece of work. This is not only because of the band's crafting skills, but also because this album is rich of emotions. Furthermore MODERN DAY MOONSHINE have the sort of chemistry that makes all great bands more than the sum of their parts. That intuitive and seemingly effortless interplay is evident right from the start. Todd Goodnough (guitar/vocals), David Burrows (drums) and Brendan McCaskey (bass) work together for the benefit of the song, rather than to show off individual talent.
Despite the variety of styles, one doesn't get the impression that you listen to more than only one band. MODERN DAY MOONSHINE have a strong identity, resulting in an extremely cohesive album. The opener 'Unsung' brings back memories of Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, but the following track 'Expiration Date' is heading in a different direction. It's a powerful combination of funk and jazz where they prove that they easily master both styles. For these reasons, MODERN DAY MOONSHINE doesn't sound like a white band who are trying to imitate a black funk band.
The same goes for the excursions into jazz territory and it would be great if MODERN DAY MOONSHINE would some day record a pure jazz album. It is furthermore noticeable that 'Refuge' is a very soulful trip, which is due among other things to the clear and expressive vocal style of guitarist Todd Goodnough. He knows exactly how to give life to a song, although I have to say that the music in itself is already very vibrant. 'Marching Down the Line', a beautiful acoustic ballad, is epitomally delicate and genuinely moving, whereas 'Finding Home' wears its country influences on a sleeve. As you may have noticed already, I could go on and on about how magnificent 'Refuge' is and that's why I can finish at this point before I start to bore you. To put it simply: this album is especially recommendable for people who are interested in particularly good music. 'Refuge' is a massage for your soul.