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With a name like JB and the Moonshine Band—a play on the popular ’70s act KC and the Sunshine Band—and an album titled Beer for Breakfast, it’s easy to assume this East Texas group is nothing more than a novelty act with a set list of tongue-in-cheek tunes.
But that’s hardly the case. While those silly songs—the title track and the hilarious “Perfect Girl”—are on Beer for Breakfast, there is also the incredibly sweet “Kiss Me That Way,” the rebellious rocker “Yes” and the sexy “I Don’t Care.” It’s all there and it’s all country.
In fact, despite the group’s regional Red Dirt roots, JB and the Moonshine Band is one of those Texas acts whose music is more country than much of what is heard on mainstream radio these days. Crying fiddle and plinking banjo are far from buried in the music bed, and rhythms range from that on the swingy title track, which would make Bob Wills proud, to shuffles and two-steps. The lyrics, meanwhile, are unapologetically blue-collar. Which is no surprise, considering band leader JB Patterson’s chief influence. “I still think Hank Williams Jr. is the coolest person on earth,” JB says. “When he says something, he’s not thinking about whether or not somebody is going to [freak] out, and that’s how I made that first record.”
Beer for Breakfast, however, is the second album for this group, fronted by a former advertising executive who, following the birth of his first child, realized he couldn’t encourage his son to pursue his dreams in life if he wasn’t doing the same. With an itch to perform his own music, combined with wanting to be a role model of authenticity for his little boy, JB assembled a band made up of the only three musicians who showed up for the audition. They recorded their debut album, 2010’s Back to Jail, and that put the wheels on their meager 15-passenger van in motion. In the end, those three musicians turned out to be the right three, and the combination of touring and a solid first release afforded JB and the Moonshine Band a trip to Nashville. Eventually, they hit pay dirt and signed a national recording contract with Average Joes Entertainment, home of Montgomery Gentry, Colt Ford, Josh Gracin and Matt Stillwell.
And Beer for Breakfast is already quenching fans’ thirsts. Released in March, the album has produced two hit singles in Texas. “I believe the saying is, ‘Go big or go home,’” JB says, laughing. “I mean, I’ve got to go for it. To have this start going and get national attention, I feel vindicated. I feel great, I feel awesome, I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”