Jon Pontrello of the Moondoggies & Pepper Proud + Roger Miller
In December, Hearth Music celebrated Roger Miller’s birthday with one hell of a tribute at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle. The Roger Miller Tribute Night was a huge success, with a packed house, 14 of Seattle’s finest musical acts performing their favorite Roger Miller ditties, and heartwarming highlights from the formidable Iaan Hughes (of KBCS) who shared photos, videos and stories of country music’s favorite class clown! There was no greater pleasure and no greater surprise that evening than Jon Pontrello‘s take on “Lou’s Got the Flu”. Along with Seattle folk sweetheart Pepper Proud, Pontrello’s (of the Moondoggies) version is a long way from Roger Miller’s frog-throated, off-kilter 1-4-5. Pontrello said, “I thought it was a really funny song about a guy who had the flu and then after really listening to it, I thought, Man, this guy really does have the flu”. This realization may explain Jon and Pepper’s haunting hue to one of Miller’s lesser known and sillier songs. Although we are very loyal Roger Miller fans here at Hearth, we are starting to prefer Pontrello’s sweet, somber and uncluttered version to Miller’s original- we can’t seem to get it out of our heads!
Lucky for us, Jon Pontrello and Pepper Proud headed to the studio the day after The Roger Miller Tribute (now that’s quick!) to record “Lou’s Got the Flu” and we are so excited to share the exclusive premiere with you here! Enjoy and good luck not getting this catchy tune in your head!
Jon Pontrello of the Moondoggies & Pepper Proud – Lou’s Got the Flu
by Mindie Lind
photo credit: Thomas Hawk
Seattle buddies: Jon Pontrello & Pepper Proud are sharing a show at Empty Sea Studios on March 1, 2014. Details HERE.
This article first appeared in KITHFOLK, the new quarterly digital roots music magazine from Hearth Music. Check out Issue #1, Winter 2014 HERE. Issue highlights include exclusive interviews with Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, Smithsonian Folkways artist Elizabeth Mitchell, New Orleans roots activists Rising Appalachia and anarcho-folk legends Blackbird Raum. Lots of album reviews and streamable audio. Beautiful original graphic design throughout.