Back in February 2009, we pronounced Moondog an “Uncoverable” artist. If you know anything about Moondog, you’ll understand why we came to this conclusion. Known as the “Viking of 6th Avenue,” Moondog was a blind, sometimes-homeless street musician in the ’50s and ’60s who invented his own instruments, rhythm, and sounds. Tom Waits cites him as a favorite, which tells you a lot. This is not someone who’s likely to crop up on the Live Lounge anytime soon.
For the aforementioned post, we considered it a find that we dug up one Moondog cover. During the subsequent two years, we still haven’t come across another. Today that changes in a big way. SL Records – the source of that original cover – is releasing a series of Moondog cover EPs this year titled Makin’ Moonshine. The three-sets-and-counting collection proves a revelation after the long drought. We asked label founder Ed Pybus why he chose to honor such an esoteric artist.
About five years ago, I got a DJ Scotch Egg album that included a Moondog cover of sorts, and at about the same time cellist Pete Harvey mentioned the idea of putting on a concert of Moondog’s music. This got me into Moondog’s stuff. I listened to about four or five albums back to back and it messed with my mind! The concert never happened but a few of the artists on the label recorded Moondog tracks with the view of releasing an EP. From there the project grew as people heard about it and more Moondog fans got in touch wanting to record tracks. I currently have about 60 tracks and plan on 12 EPs, but as more people get in touch as they hear about the project it may be like painting the Forth Road Bridge and never end.
And just like that we’ve gone from one Moondog cover to 60! Not so “Uncoverable” after all, it seems. Below, check out a few MP3 highlights from Makin’ Moonshine 3. When you want to hear more (and you will), scroll further to listen to and buy all three EPs.
Learn more about the project at SL Records.