TJ West: Landing with Moonsville Collective

TJ WEST — By on May 3, 2016 9:00 am

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By Kim Grant

Moonsville Collective is an Americana String Band that is based on the traditions of Appalachia, Old Time, Folk, Country & Rhythm and Blues.

Forming in 2011, the band is comprised of six members including Father and son team “Dobro” Dan Richardson and bassist Seth Richardson, lead vocalists Corey Adams and Ryan Welch, mandolinist Matthew McQueen and fiddler Sean Kibler.

Known for their heavy tour schedule, I caught them in rare moment of down time in their hometown of Los Angeles, CA to find out a little bit more about who they are and what they do.

How did you all meet and how did you come up with the band name?

Dobro Dan met Seth in a hospital.  Seth dated Corey’s sister.  Corey took Ryan’s order.  Ryan sat next to Seth in Oceanography class.  Matt sold printers with Ryan’s brother.  Sean was fiddling on a flatbed and said hello.  Handshakes happened.  A beer steered conversation in uptown Whittier propagated the idea of a record label called, “Moon Records.”  That idea warped into a band called “Moonsville.”

Did you come together as a band with the idea of 4 part harmonies, or is it something that just occurred naturally?

People say having several singers in a band can be a curse.  We cursed it into a blessing.

Who does the songwriting and what is your process?

Regular writings come from Ryan and Corey but everyone brings offerings to the song table; sometimes you bring the Turkey, sometimes you bring a roll.

Were you always fans of traditional American music?  Did any members need convincing?

It’s in all of our blood but coming from Southern Los Angeles, so is everything else.  Americana is hand-me-down music, something shared, and when we landed on Moonsville every member brought their homemade version.

How long have you all been playing instruments and are you all multi-instrumentalists?

Dobro Dan was playing instruments while riding freight trains before any of the rest of us were born.  Matt played mando before anyone knew about the Internet.  Whether we learned early or late, each of us can pluck a couple ducks.

The OC Weekly named you “Best Live Band” one year.  What do you think makes your live show so dynamic?  

We hope our live shows are dynamic because of our songs.  We don’t rely on jokes, lights, or snakeskin boots.  Authenticity is dynamic.

You all spend a lot of time on the road.  What’s the best part about returning home?

Our wives, babies and beds.

What’s up next for Moonsville Collective?

This year and every year…Write. Record. Play.  The Moonsville triathlon.

 

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