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Rooted in Country: Mike and the Moonpies on George Strait Deep Cut 'Rhythm of the Road'

Lyza Renee Photography

Texas troubadours Mike and the Moonpies' reach extends far beyond the Lone Star State. The hardworking band has spent over a decade spreading the gospel of Texas-born honkytonk to the rest of the United States.

But when it comes to musical influences, the band is still firmly planted in Texas. Frontman Mike Harmeier names Texas Swing as the backbone of the band's sound and when asked to name a country song that first had a profound impact on him, Harmeier credits none other than King George.

"It had to have been a George Strait song because that was from day one -- that was where I started," Harmeier tells Wide Open Country. "The #7 record is I think the record that I really fell in love with. There's songs on that record -- "Nobody in His Right Mind" and all these classics, a lot of Dean Dillon songs, obviously. That's the record that I still go to today if I really want to get back into that mindset that I had when I first started doing this. That's kind of the record that takes me back to that place."

"I think it's because it covers a lot of ground in country music," Harmeier continues. "I mean, it starts out with these Texas Swing things. It has "Deep Water" on it -- another Texas Swing thing. It has "Nobody in His Right Mind" -- a great standard country song."

Read More: Rooted in Country: Hannah Dasher on Eric Church's 'Sinners Like Me'

Though Strait's classic #7 album features some of his best known hits ("Nobody in His Right Mind Would've Left Her," "It Ain't Cool to Be Crazy About You"), Harmeier says it was a Strait deep cut, the Dan McCoy-penned "Rhythm of the Road," that would go on to directly influence one of the Moonpies' songs.

"'Rhythm of the Road' later on became one of my favorite songs and [was] a big influence on the song "Road Crew," Harmeier says. "I think we pulled a lot of ideas from "Rhythm of the Road" for "Road Crew."

 

Mike and the Moonpies released their most recent album, One to Grow On, earlier this year.

 

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Rooted in Country: Mike and the Moonpies on George Strait Deep Cut 'Rhythm of the Road'