The Moonshine

What’s in a name? Turns out, plenty! Both Portland’s The Moonshine and Polecat from Bellingham, Washington  have a tale to tell on origins of their band names.

The Moonshine


Michael Gerard Levasseur knows his way around lyrics and crafting songs that are at once wildly unexpected and unusual. At the same time, when you admit to the Carter Family and Doc Watson being in your wheelhouse, anything can happen. Michael was born in Brooklyn and was raised in South Carolina, so there are some clues right there about the state of wonder that is inside Michael’s songwriting style and approach. Anything can happen, musically speaking.

I got to know Michael and Rachel when it was more of a pop/rock band sound with Michael the Blind. The shift to The Moonshine is an evolution. They loved being loud, but moved into wanting to “hear” more in-between the notes, that an unplugged and old-timey approach offered up.

Ironically, we caught up on one of those amazingly sunny Sunday afternoons that hit Portland from time to time.  What was the trip between the one band and now a new iteration, where it was and where’s it all going and of course, that name thing. The Q&A below.


(L-R) J Elwood Johncox, Sara Wolf, Susanna Low-Beer, Rachel Renee’ and Michael Gerard

Michael was telling me about band influences. Here’s one of the albums it turns out, EACH person in the group owns. Apparently this group’s destiny is pretty much written in the stars.


Album in the center? Doc Watson’s “Memories”

The Moonshine and Polecat Connection


Find out more about Polecat below and get the show info HERE.


(L-R) Richard Reeves,Karl Olson, Cayley Schmid, Aaron Guest, and Jeremy Elliot.

Polecat got MY attention because of The Moonshine. Next, I noticed Polecat’s newest album, Fathoms, was produced at Bear Creek Studios, so I just knew there would be a great sound to this group.


Jeremy, who is on electric lead guitar and vocals, caught me up on the Polecat story. I gotta say, he has the most generous spirit. You’ll get a feel, from him, for this group and what each person brings.  It’s a unique sound that allows them to explore music styles, and mix it all up however and wherever it might lead.

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