Sunday, October 19, 2008


The very first Uncle Tupelo song I ever heard was "Moonshiner." Wow, what a vocal performance by Jay Farrar. It blew me away. I would listen to that one track on repeat for hours and hours. "Moonshiner" is off of the album March 16-20, an acoustic album produced by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, which contains original Uncle Tupleo tracks along with reworkings of traditional folk and country songs.

Uncle Tupelo - Moonshiner.mp3
Buy: March 16-20, 1992 (1992, reissued 2003)

I did not know that Bob Dylan did his own version of "Moonshiner" until I saw the superb Todd Haynes biopic I'm Not There (2007). In the notes that accompany the The Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3 set, Dylan is quoted as saying that singing this song is an "exercise in tonal breath control."

Bob Dylan - Moonshiner.mp3
Buy: The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 : Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991
Bob Forrest, lead singer of the L.A. punk band Thelonious Monster, contributes his own version for the I'm Not There soundtrack.

Bob Forrest - Moonshiner.mp3
Buy: I'm Not There (Soundtrack 2007)

Finally, Cat Power delivers an absolutely devastating version.

Cat Power - Moonshiner.mp3
Buy: Moon Pix (1998)

eMusic has 30+ versions of "Moonshiner/The Moonshiner," so if you don't like any of these versions, try a few more.

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