Blue Moon Soup release album at Canal Street
By Justin Kreitzer
The Yellow Springs-based band Blue Moon Soup are set to release their self-titled sophomore album and will be celebrating this accomplishment with a CD release show at Canal Street Tavern Friday, Sept. 6. These four young guys – Jon Bauman (upright bass, vocals), Robbie Marion (fiddle, vocals), Brendan Moore (mandolin, vocals) and Justin Moon (guitar, vocals) – eschew the trappings of indie rock, or any modern genre for that matter. They instead choose to create a more traditional, string-based bluegrass and Celtic-leaning folk sound that they then filter through a psychedelic jam band’s lens.
In anticipation of their upcoming CD release show, Robbie from Blue Man Soup was kind enough to take the time for an interview with the Dayton City Paper about their band name and diverse influences, the recording of their new album, its thematic elements and more.
How did the band form and what is the meaning and origin behind your unique name? I am secretly hoping it’s a clever play off of the Blue Man Group …
We are afraid that isn’t the case … but people do call us Blue Man Soup sometimes! Blue Moon Soup started about four years ago, playing as high school friends [and] we soon started playing regular gigs. In the early days, we went through numerous instrument configurations, including playing with drums and keyboard. Eventually, we decided to go back to our roots and become a string band. The name derives from the song “Moon Soup,” written by our friend Josh Enos for his project, Ortega Fuerte. Someone decided to throw “Blue” in front, and so it remains today. – Robbie Marion
What drew you to create your brand of traditional, bluegrass-based folk music? Who are some of the musicians and bands that have influenced your sound?
We grew up listening to and playing a lot of traditional folk and Celtic music. Eventually, [we discovered] the likes of David Grisman and Jerry Garcia. The Pizza Tapes were a major influence when we first started; now the list has expanded to [include] the Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, the Beatles, Andy Irvine and many more. – RM
What one current and one older song do you wish you would have written yourself?
Well foremost, “Fox On The Run,” the only cover song on the album, to avoid paying technical royalties. Haha, just kidding, Manfred Mann! – RM
Your second album is self-titled. Does its title signify a new direction in sound? What is the significance of self-titling your second album?
Not so much a new direction. Our style has developed and matured into something that really represents our collective musical voice. We think we’ve reached the point where we’ve captured our desired sound. – RM
Where and how did you record the new album? Were you able to capture the energy of your live shows?
We recorded the new album in a homemade studio at our guitar player’s house. Our friend, sound engineer Brian Weyrich, traveled from Columbus a few times a week for the sessions. We strive to incorporate live performance elements into our recording. Each track at its core is essentially a live recording, accented by the various instruments and layers we put in after. – RM
You guys are known to put on a fun live show with unexpected covers like the “Ren & Stimpy Show” theme song. Now, I’m sure you will mostly be playing songs from the new album but – and without giving anything away – do you have any surprises lined up for your CD release show? What can we expect?
Release night will be filled with new and old alike. We’ll be playing quite a few unheard songs off the new album and songs written since. We’ve also got few surprises in store. We hope to incorporate some of the thematic elements of the album. – RM
Speaking of the thematic elements, what is the theme of the new album?
We are all heavily influenced by the histories and mythologies of Europe, as well as more modern mythologies, such as Tolkien and the Elder Scrolls Game Series. We play heavily on these themes throughout the album in both the music and lyrical content. This album, the artwork and music strongly reflect the medieval influence. – RM
What does the future hold for Blue Man Soup?
After four years we feel like it’s just beginning. This September, we set off on our first tour, with shows scheduled in Colorado, Chicago, Kansas and St. Louis. We want to keep moving forward with the momentum that has gotten us this far. We’ll continue to write songs and hit new cities. Coming soon to town near you! – RM
Blue Moon Soup will celebrate their album release on Friday, Sept. 6 at Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St. Opening the evening will be The Ford Theater Reunion. Doors at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information visit facebook.com/BlueMoonSoup.