Roy Handy & the Moonshot

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Roy Handy & the Moonshot continue on an unwavering path for their second release on Bituminous Records. Holy Cow is a fun, no-holds-barred record; Roy being Roy; rock and roll for kids; stuff turned up to 11. Warren Truitt, in his fine blog, Kids Music that Rocks, put it best when reviewing (I’m Gonna Be) Your Best Friend, the 2010 debut from RH & MS: “If you dig the rowdy, grungy, guitar-driven rock and roll of, say, Ragged Glory or Rust Never Sleeps, Roy Handy is right down your alley. Play this one LOUD!”

(I’m Gonna Be) Your Best Friend took subjects dear to the hearts of kids everywhere (dogs, blankets and bare feet) and glued them to a backbeat. And so it remains on Holy Cow. This new collection of songs gets off to a furious, anything-but-wimpy start with the title track, “Holy Cow,” a string of rhetorical questions for, well, a cow. Drums surge ahead, guitars churn and chime and the world moves a step closer to finding out if chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

The entire record, seven songs, is about 16 minutes long, “And that’s long enough to make a statement,” says Roy Handy. “The world’s full of problems, but when you’re five or six you shouldn’t have to think about them.” The subject matter on this second CD from Roy Handy & the Moonshot remains simple; chewing bubblegum, yet another song about dogs and even one about riding the tilt-a-whirl—-or not:

My sister’s not old enough yet,
To get on the tilt-a-whirl.
They got a big sign with a big red line
But she’s just a little girl.

“There are two things I’m proud of where Roy Handy & the Moonshot is concerned,” says Gerry Stanek, “and one of them is that we’ve now made two records for kids where we strived to just play the way we knew how to play; we didn’t change to fit some prescribed mold that says ‘this is a record for kids.’” Stanek moonlights as Roy Handy, the guy who fronts the Moonshot; mild-mannered dad at one moment; nearly-swaggering lead guitar player the next; singing upbeat songs about crayons, cows and apple juice and really talking to kids—-not at them. It’s a real-life balancing act for this full-time dad to three little girls who inspire all the songs.

“There is nothing watered down here,” he says. “I’ve never once thought, ‘well, maybe I should turn the drums down because it’s a kids’ record.’” What else makes Roy Handy proud, you might ask. Here’s Roy: “If I never sell another CD, I get the satisfaction of hearing my kids singing my songs from the back seat with no prompting from me; that is pure joy. It makes me smile; it makes me proud when my 3-year old says, ‘I like the new Roy Handy songs, daddy.”

The real mission for Roy Handy & the Moonshot has never involved preaching or teaching; it’s all about fun. And rocking out. “Crayon Man” could easily be a gateway to “Can’t Explain.” “And if you’re missing that,” says Stanek, “you’ve missed the entire point behind Roy Handy & the Moonshot. It sounds funny, but the fact that my kids love The Beatles is important to me.”

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