If you prefer your shirts plaid, your music twangy and your whiskey from a Mason jar, you’re probably going to like what’s going down at Sam Bond’s Friday, June 22, when California natives Gwyneth and Monko roll through with their brand of real down-home country.
In 2009, Gwyneth Moreland and Michael Monko joined forces in Northern California. Moreland was seeking accompaniment for a solo tour, and Monko’s skills on a variety of instruments — including the mandolin and fiddle — fit the bill. Shortly thereafter the two began writing together; they released their first EP, Good Old Horse. In 2011, Moreland and Monko released their self-titled album, chock full of hearty, old-timey country tunes, and rumor has it that this summer they’ll be working on their third release.
Moreland’s voice is raw and intriguing — full of character and imperfections that lend authenticity to her sound. You’d be hard-pressed to find an auto-tuned syllable anywhere near this album. Taking a hard right away from the robotic, Moreland’s vocals highlight the emotion fueling the simple storylines of her lyrics. Influenced by an upbringing in small town Mendocino, Calif., devoid of television and junk food, Moreland’s lyrics present snapshots of everyday country life.
Gwyneth and Monko are refreshing in an unpolished, retro kind of way. Simple and country to the core, this duo makes you feel like you should be lounging in an Adirondack chair on the wrap-around porch of some defunct ranch in the stifling heat of the deep South. And with song titles like “Summer Bliss” and “Get in the Sun,” there couldn’t be a better way to usher in this reluctant summer.
Gwyneth and Monko play 9:30 pm Friday, June 22, and Sam Bond’s; $5.