One of my favorite records to listen to as a child was an old Fats Waller album I found in my parents stack, sandwiched somewhere between Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Spike Jones or Chet Atkins. It was this musty stack of records that I got to know so intimately during the northwestern foggy days of my childhood. My big sister, Anna and I would sing along to our favorite tunes at the top of our lungs as we danced on the futon, pretending it was a stage.
It was the lyrics of these songs that got me… stuck with me throughout my days. “On The Sunny Side of The Street” was constantly in my head. I knew what it was to “walk in the shade,” with my “blues on parade,” and I loved how the song made me feel and it reminded me to leave my “worries on the doorstep.”
Fats Waller always made me want to move around and act crazy. My family didn’t have TV, so I enjoyed music that created an image, told a story. One of my favorites was “This Joint Is Jumping”.
My awareness of music and personal tastes occurred fairly young and for me it’s a bit of blur. There was so much that I liked and so many standout memories that I really don’t know which occurred first. I remember listening to John Denver’s 45 rpm of “Sunshine on My Shoulder” on my very own portable, plastic record player. I was probably six years old and I’d listen to that song over & over. “Sunshine on My Shoulder” made me happy.
Maybe a couple of years later is when I remember purchasing my very first music. It was with my mother in a record store in San Francisco. I had some cash that I had saved (from birthday money, most likely) and I wanted to buy a couple of cassettes. One that I REALLY wanted was Gary Wright “Dreamweaver.” That song mesmerized me, I had to own that tape!
The other was, ahem … Captain & Tennille “Song of Joy.” I think I had some sort of fascination with “Muskrat Love,” maybe it was the Captain’s quirky synthesizer noises imitating a muskrat? I don’t know, I was a kid, it made me happy.
Monko and Moreland formed as a band after the 2009 release of Moreland’s solo album Wishbone. When she was getting ready to tour for Wishbone, she searched for an accompanist and fortune gave her multi-instrumentalist Monko. Almost, immediately upon touring, the pair began writing music together. Monko’s diverse musical past easily blended with Moreland’s earthy and classic country vocals creating a new sound that has resulted in the two recording projects they have done together so far.
In the midst of their heavy national tour schedule, they have been greatly inspired by the people they have encountered and are proud to say that they are already elbow-deep in brand new songs. During this upcoming summer they will be preparing to record another full-length album, much to the delight of their fans.