Don’t let the mohawk and tattoos fool you. The Moonshine Bandits are more than just a rock band. Ross Boissoneau looks into the music group’s recordings that blend rock, country, and hip hop before they play at a Traverse City event on Friday, October 23.


Moonshine Bandits

How They Got Their Start

The California duo Tex and Bird (no real names, please) debuted in 2003 with the recording Soggy Crackerz. They were among the very first to blend rock, country, and hip hop. Subsequent recordings have continued the trend. The group’s name came from Tex’s ancestors bootlegging alcohol during the Prohibition years in Northern California. His great-grandfather used a barbershop as a front while peddling alcohol illegally in baby carriages to community members, family, friends, and politicians.


Rap meets country

Influences and Inspirations

Kid Rock, Papa Roach, Dr. Dre, House of Pain, Molly Hatchet, and anyone doing that Johnny-Cash-meets-the-Beastie-Boys thing

Additional Background

Loud, twangy guitars? Check. Songs celebrating whisky, women, and outlaw antics? Check. Big hooks and a hip hop beat? Check and check. This genre-blending group brings to mind everyone from Charlie Daniels and Brooks & Dunn to Usher and Van Halen. Their video for “My Kind Of Country” peaked at the #1 spot on legendary country video channel CMT, beating out major label artists like Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, and Keith Urban.


“As hick-hop rolls on, California crew Moonshine Bandits continue to add new flavors to the genre.” – The All Music Guide

“We set out to make a blue-collar record for people who work their asses off and, come Friday and Saturday, just want to let loose and party.” – Tex


Streeters Center in Traverse City

Date & Time

Friday, October 23 at 8 p.m.

Traverse City Event Ticket Information

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at

For More on the Band

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