Moonlight Rodeo began to take shape in the Spring of 1994, in the sunny town of San Rafael, in Marin County, California. It grew out of a series of informal living room jams by Kurt Huget, Mayne Smith, and Jesse Lee Kincaid, who shared a common appreciation for country and roots music. (These jams gave Mayne and Jesse an opportunity to get reacquainted; it had been many years since they crossed paths at the Troubadour and Ash Grove folk clubs in L.A. during the golden years of the mid-Sixties.) The fellas seemed to enjoy so much what went down at these jams that they decided to enlist some co-conspirators (such as Dave Getz from Big Brother & The Holding Company) and put together an official band. The rest is (our) history.
In 2000, the band released its debut CD, which received local and international airplay, and garnered some favorable press reviews as well. The latest CD ("Rio Lindo"), released in August 2003, again features all original material, but this time includes the collaborative contributions of Robert Hunter, longtime Grateful Dead lyricist, who co-wrote 5 of the songs with Kurt Huget.
The core members of the band are the following:
Tom Bowers: Bass
Lauralee Brown: Vocals
Kurt Huget: Vocals, guitar
Jon Mitguard: Pedal steel
Mike Spinrad: Drums
"Rio Lindo" also features guest appearances by some of our famous friends:
Robert Hunter: Vocals (Grateful Dead)
Dave Getz: Drums (Big Brother & The Holding Company)
Jesse Lee Kincaid: Fiddle (Founding member of The Rising Sons, with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder)
Bruce Barthol: Bass (Founding member of Country Joe & The Fish)
Steve Schuster: Horns (Recorded with Grateful Dead, Quicksilver, Jefferson Starship, etc.)
Mayne Smith: Dobro (Noted bluegrass music scholar)
... and others