Poor Man's Whiskey
Dark Side of the Moonshine
We love Poor Man's Whiskey here in Bend so much, in fact, that we built an entire music festival around them in 4 Peaks...sort of. During all of these appearances in Bend, there has always been chatter surrounding the band that goes something like this: "These guys can play a complete bluegrass version of Dark Side of the Moon." But the problem has always been that PMW - although playing ass-kicking shows, has never given us a taste of this project.
Well, time to taste the whiskey. PMW has finally released Dark Side of the Moonshine, the miraculously ambitious and nearly frighteningly dead-on acoustic (or at least mostly acoustic) recreation of the Pink Floyd classic as well as a second disc of 10 original cuts. The Darkside portion of the record plays almost precisely like the original, including the eerie laughs and dog barks included on "Speak to Me/Breathe" and the choral backing vocals on "Brain Damage." But they take plenty of liberties along the way, including changing the title of "Money" to "Whiskey" and replacing each lyrical mention therein, as well as singing, "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon...shine" on "Brian Damage." We heard some recordings of Dark Side when PMW played it live in San Francisco a while back and knew these guys could pull off the seemingly impossible feat of melting together bluegrass music with the world's most well-known piece of psychedelia, but we were nonetheless impressed by the finished studio product. Yeah, Dark Side has been manipulated before, as it was when the Easy All-Star' Dub Side of the Moon, but PMW has stretched Floyd's vision even further.
Again, there is also another PMW album included in the two-disc set in a collection of 10 original songs, many of which we've heard here in Bend, like the swaying "Easy Come" and the singalong "Rock Star on the Weekend." While PMW's live show has turned them into a full-fledged rock band as they've gradually stepped away from their acoustic beginnings, these songs lean back to those bluegrassy roots, but with strong results.