|"Rio Lindo" CD
review from www.allmusic.com:
It's the vocals that give the band identity, and Huget sings lyrics that sound influenced by Robert Hunter even when he isn't the credited wordsmith. That should be good news to Grateful Dead fans who enjoy Hunterís elliptical lines with their fractured aphorisms. They should think of this disc as a descendant of the Deadís "cowboy song" mini-sets and imagine it's Bob Weir singing instead of Huget, which shouldn't be so hard, since his timbre and phrasing are not dissimilar to Weirís. This album is a good example of the still-thriving style of Marin County country, and it's worth seeking out.Ē
"Rio Lindo" CD review from Blue Suede News magazine, Spring 2004:
We reviewed an earlier title by this San Francisco Bay Area country group. Guitarist Kurt Huget wrote or co-wrote (5 of 12 with Robert Hunter, former Grateful Dead lyricist) all of the songs. He also sings lead on some songs, and harmony vocals to Lauralee Brown (who also sings lead) on several others. I've spotted at least one other connection to the 60's scene, Country Joe & The Fish bassist Bruce Barthol makes an appearance, and Mayne Smith from up this way at one time plays dobro on a cut. There's also some fine pedal steel on the CD, and Huget plays mandolin on one cut, banjo on another and organ on one. This isn't particularly a Honky-Tonk style record (except maybe the hidden track "Losing Side Of Love"), but it's not that easy to describe. Because of connections mentioned one might suppose it's "hippie" country, and maybe it is. But it bears little resemblance to, say the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Just cleaner somehow I guess -- call it gentle Country Rock. The title tune has a reggae influence. Actually, I like Huget's own tunes the best. "Hell Is In Nevada" has a nice Country Rock groove. "Chapeau Flambeau" is a nice instrumental. Hunter's written some great lyrics for the Dead, but some of this is a little too cryptic for country music, for my taste anyway. Luckily that's only 5 of the tunes, and I'm sure they will also find their audience. Some will think of them as Grateful Dead songs that could have been. I guess "Worried In Mind" with its horn section makes reference to Janis Joplin at the end.
"Rio Lindo" CD reviews from CD Baby website:
Originally drawn to this by the Robert Hunter connection and I was not disappointed. The non-Hunter songs are all equally strong and in such varied styles the listener never knows what to expect next. Very tight musicianship, together with eclectic styles keeps the listener coming back for more whatever the mood.
Excellent CD offering great songwriting and a variety of musical styles
RIO LINDO is an amazingly good CD from the country-rock band Moonlight Rodeo. Main songwriter Kurt Huget displays an excellent grasp of many different musical styles, and his guitar playing always complements the song in question perfectly. The musicianship is top-notch across the board, and singer Lauralee Brown has a beautiful voice. It's nice to hear a band that takes inspiration from a wide variety of sources, yet produces something wholly original and not derivative of other artists or popular styles. Plenty of great tunes here; the title track will stay with you long after the CD is out of your player, and "Something To Believe In" is one of my favorite songs of the year. Highly recommended!
"Moonlight Rodeo" (premier CD) review from Blue Suede News magazine, Spring 2000:
Moonlight Rodeo is a nice touch - how many bands are using the name "Midnight Rodeo"? Probably dozens, but I hadn't heard of one with this name yet. This country group has Mayne Smith on steel and dobro; he has roots up here in the Northwest. Guitarist (and BSN subscriber) Kurt Huget wrote all the songs, and alternates on vocals. It doesn't appear that this group aims itself at mainstream country, and of course that means that they can be more experimental. But it's not exactly trad country either - more like singer/songwriter country. "Ballad of Bad Jesse" has an interesting groove, perhaps inspired by Bo Diddley by way of the Everlys. "Shiftin' Gears" is an instro, with perhaps a slight Buck Owens influence, at least in the idea of doing one on a Telecaster. It's probably just as hard down there in the Bay Area to get away with original country music as it is up here, and my guess is these folks do covers at most of their gigs. One result is the songs don't sound road tested, but I admire their courage to put them out there anyway. My favorite is "Bluebird, Tennessee."
by Ken Delpit
North Bay News (Society
for Technical Communication newsletter), April 2000
Writers are an interesting bunch,
I think. It seems like everyone has a unique perspective, an unusual interest,
or a hidden talent, and is not afraid to share them all. Whether interesting
people are drawn to the profession, or whether deadline pressure force
writers into finding diversions, I can't say. If you find yourself in
the latter category, I can recommend an enjoyable escape. Try and catch
Kurt Huget and his band, Moonlight Rodeo, at one of their appearances
in Sonoma or Marin counties.
MR recently released their first
CD, titled "Moonlight Rodeo" oddly enough, a collection of Kurt
originals. A CD release party at Rancho Nicasio played to a packed, enthusiastic
audience. In performance, MR plays a variety of country classics and originals,
a mix of melodious ballads, love poems, and driving rhythms. A steady
bass beat and Kurt's guitar riffs punctuate the liquid sounds coming from
Mayne Smith's pedal steel guitar.
One caveat, however. Kurt is liable
to audition for another part, namely that of stand-up comedian, right
in front of you. Apparently, Kurt has been hedging his bet about this
music thing holding up. One interlude between songs had him describing
a recent visit to the dentist, who was eagerly offering him nitrous oxide
for a routine cleaning. "No thanks," said Kurt, "You see,
I want to transcend dental medication!"