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Rock Band Moon Tooth Talks Pappy [The Fred Minnick Show]

On this episode of The Fred Minnick Show, the hard rock band Moon Tooth, one of Fred’s favorites, is the guest. Members Ray Marte, John Carbone and Vincent Romanelli talk about their song “Awe at All Angles,” which is the new musical backdrop for Fred’s podcast and other creative efforts. The band members also discuss their many musical projects, creating new songs, what they drink (and sometimes eat) while on the road, Pappy Van Winkle and much more. Along the way, of course, they sip some fine whiskey – and even some brandy – with Fred.

Spirits tasted:

  • Spirits of French Lick Hoosier Apple Brandy (18:10)
  • Sonoma Rye (30: 53)
  • Old Tub (40:31)
  • Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond (54:30)
  • Old Forester 1920 (1:21: 52)


Fred and the band talk about a wide variety of things, such as:

  • Fred starts the guys off with the unexpected, kicking things off with an apple brandy instead of a whiskey.
  • He then professes his belief that bass players are woefully underrated, and he asks Vincent what he does to make the band or a certain song sound the best it can.
  • John talks about how a song comes together – and how important it is that the members of Moon Tooth are so often on the same page.
  • John talks about his singing influences from Maynard Keenan of Tool to Delta blues and soul singers like Otis Redding. He also touches on taking care of one’s singing voice.
  • The band talks with Fred about how whiskey can help – or hinder – a live performance. Long story short, Moon Tooth isn’t going onstage drunk.
  • Fred introduces the band to Old Tub, a newer Jim Beam product that Fred has touted as outpacing its modest $23 price tag.
  • Everyone talks about what got them through the covid shutdown of 2020 and how so many people have come to the realization that they probably drank way too much during that time – Fred included. “And I’m a professional!” Fred exclaims.
  • Ray discusses the fact that covid also was a time when many musicians created a lot of new music, something that will benefit all of us going forward.
  • Fred talks with Moon Tooth about how tough it has been to not be able to tour. Playing on stage is what being a musician is about.
  • They talk about playing a show at the Thompson House in Newport, Ky. The early-19th century mansion is commonly believe to be haunted, thanks to numerous deaths that occurred there.
  • Fred gives the guys a lesson in the history of bottled in bond.
  • Ray gets a chance to talk about why the drummer is typically, as Fred words it, “the heartbeat of the band.” The band agrees that “everything starts with drums.”
  • Fred gushes about how much he loves Moon Tooth’s music. He then calls John King, the guy who hooked Fred up with the band, to offer confirmation.
  • The conversation turns to a general discussion of the importance of doing what one loves.
  • John promises to work the word “bourbon” or the name of a bourbon of Fred’s choice into a song on the upcoming Moon Tooth album.
  • Fred gets the band to tell the story of how they came to the band Moon Tooth.
  • The discussion briefly turns to country music at around the 1:40:00 mark.
  • Fred has the band go back and re-taste every spirit from the flight and pick their favorite: Vincent chooses Old Fo 1920; John picks the 1897, and Ray, the band’s recognized “whiskey geek,” liked the apple brandy. For Fred, it was the 1897, which was something of a surprise, given his love of the 1920.


John Carbone, lead singer of Moon Tooth, on playing live music: “When it comes to performing live, pursuing this has been the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life. But the feeling I get when I’m up there … if you can think of a time where you felt absolutely free from fear. You felt you could do anything … There word ‘should’ doesn’t even exist. That’s when any performer is going to give their best performance, when they’re totally free of thought and fear. … It’s almost like a different part of you comes alive.”




5 Sherried Whisky Alternatives

Here are my recommendations for those of you who want something sweet and luscious, but a little different in your glass this year. 

Fred Minnick

American whiskey critic Fred Minnick has appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef, Discovery’s Moonshiners, CNBC, CBS This Morning, NPR, Fox News and many more, just to discuss the state of whiskey. He's the host of the Amazon Prime show Bourbon Up and Spirits Network's Frontier Filmmakers. In addition, the Wall Street Journal-bestselling author wrote seven books, including Whiskey Women, Rum Curious, Bourbon Curious, MEAD, and Bourbon: The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of An American Whiskey. He has written for the New York Times, Scientific American, Parade Magazine, Forbes Magazine and is the editor-in-chief of Bourbon+ Magazine. Minnick is a co-founder to Bourbon & Beyond and curates both B&B and the Hometown Rising Festivals, as well as being 1/3 of the popular Bourbon Pursuit podcast. But most importantly, he wears ascots.

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