The year was 2007, the city was Seattle and the band was called—of all things—the Moondoggies. I'd only been in the city a few months when I caught a show at the High Dive. I was immediately hooked. Soon the band sent me a burned CD of their first recordings, which they were shopping around to local labels. In the following months I took that CDR with me on road trips all over Washington State and the Moondoggies became the sound I associated with my newly adopted home
I wasn't the only one feeling the music. In early 2008, Hardly Art made that Moondoggies album, titled Don't Be a Stranger, their fourth-ever release. The Moondoggies carried that momentum on an upward trajectory that would find them, over the next couple years, playing to sold-out Seattle crowds and at festivals across America. They've since released two more LPs, powerful works that show emotional maturity and creative refinement and sound great on my turntable. But Don't Be a Stranger remains my most-played Moondoggies album, even though it exists only on my laptop as that ancient CDR rip.
Today, to the rejoicing of fans around the world, Hardly Art announced that they are finally re-releasing the Moondoggies' classic debut, now on vinyl. The new packaging of Don't Be a Stranger is a double LP that includes five previously unreleased songs, all recorded with producer Erik Blood during the original Stranger sessions. The band originally chose to leave them off because they felt that at 55 minutes the album was already stretched to capacity.
But fans will be thrilled to have those songs back. And now we're thrilled to premiere one of them, longtime live favorite "Oh Now Honey," here and now. Dig in! And pre-order Don't Be a Stranger, which comes out Oct. 7, on the Hardly Art website.
Don't Be a Stranger captures a quintessential Seattle band at a quintessential moment. But as you'll hear with "Oh Now Honey," the music—raw and gutsy and unapologetically groovy—is simply timeless.