Wild Hare Records can be compared to Willie Lewis'Rock-A-Billy Records in more than one aspect. Dave and Kiersten Moore, who are equally at ease with engineering sessions, writing songs, designing covers and performing their own songgs, run their label with love. Most of all they built a sound that takes only a few second to identify. You don't buy a Wild Hare Record like you buy another rockabilly album.Their catalog is flawless with artist both from the first generation of Rockabilly / Hillbilly (Pat Cupp, Joe Penny - guitar player for Hank Williams) and young bands who'll soon become the classics of twomorrow.
by Fred "Virgil" Turgis


How did you get into Rockabilly/Hillbilly bob etc.?
Dave Moore - I grew up in the 60s and was very much into the counter-counter culture....very anti hippy! There was always real country music in my family, my dad being the band leader of the BAR M Boys. But even as a kid I was interested in alt country (rockabilly). I was into Bill Haley when he wasnt cool anymore, I knew who Gene Vincent was in the 60s as well and loved Buck Owen’s “Hot Dog”.I always felt and still do, that real rockabilly music is an offshoot of Country Music.

Then what decided you to create your own label?
I got married and needed something to do creative with music, because I couldn’t travel around to the Europe etc anymore. The label and studio allowed me to create and promote young, new acts as well as help the original rockers get re-established.

You actually are more than "just" a label. I mean you only publish the stuff you record...
Well, we write, we record, we arrange, we promote and I play 14 instruments. We also do our own photo shoots and design work. We kind a feel like we are a one stop shop.

What was the first record issued?
That would be Release #: 104A/BRelease Date: January 2004 Title: Let’s Get a Little CloserArtist: Roc LaRueFormat: 45EP vinyl- 4 songs

You have your own studio, which I guess is made of vintage gear. Was it hard to build?
Not really, Americans are fickle and they anxiously give up old things for new things. There is a lot of vintage gear to be had over here. Analog studios are very hard to find. I live next to the state of Maryland and their is only one operating analog studio in the entire state of  Maryland. The whole country has gone digital (except me).

Your wife works with you too, right?
Yes, Kiersten is the brains ....she does all of the photo work, runs a vintage clothing store (www.retrodini.com)  and does the CD and Record cover design work. She also helps with promotions.

What are your references in term of label/studio. Sun? Meteor? Would you say that a guy like Willie Lewis and his rock-a-billy label had an influence on you?
I love Willie’s music and all that he has done. I would have to say, that we are like any small label in the 50's. Each having its own distinctive sound and raw qualities. The days of honest, raw, heartfelt music.

As a independent label, what do you think of internet. Are you "victim" of the illegal downloading?
I use the internet some, but am not interested too much in the digital age. And yes, we have been pirated too many times to count. I have mixed feelings about it. I feel really bad for the Joe Penny’s, Pat Cupp’s etc. who have had their master pieces stolen from them and reissued. Many people don’t realize it, but the historic rockers rarely get paid for any of their recordings and song writing. It is plain wrong. We owe these historic rockers everything for kicking down the doors and inventing what we love.
As a side note, one of my songs “Hoochicoo” by the Saddle Pals was pirated and it showed up on a pure 1950s compilation. I recorded it in 1999.  Ha ha

You own the label and the studio, engineer, but you're also a musician in your own right. Tell us about your musical projects.

I backed and recorded with Sun Rocker Vernon Taylor for 7 years, Billy Adams for 5 years, backed Roc LaRue, Pat Cupp, Joe Penny, Ron Berry and played various other gigs with historic rockers through the years. I have also worked with practically all of the Wild Hare Artists on gigs including Hoss Hicks, Thommy Burns, the fabulous Buck Stevens,  Garnet Hearts , Chaotics etc.

I really enjoyed the two volumes of "Ain't Rocket Science". But for me, the one who stole the show is Joe Penny. Tell us please how did you get in touch and work with this character?
WOW! we love Joe, you know! I met Joe when I was playing a rockabilly festival in Jackson, Tennessee in 2000. In 2001, I was doing a Hank Williams festival and invited Joe to be the head liner. The next spring we had Joe record at Wild Hare. I guess you can tell he is a real live wire. He was so cool. I would wake up in the middle of the night and he would be dancing to music on my  55 Seeburg Jukebox in his bathrobe. What a great, talented, sincere guy! The session was Thommy Burns on Bass, Bob Butler on Rhythm Guitar,  Lance LeBeau on Drums and I played lead guitar. Memories that I will always cherish. Joe lives in Florida today.

Another artist from the 50's who recorded forn Wild Hare is Pat Cupp. I believe he contacted you... Please tell us more. How was it to be in the studio with him?
My most sincere pleasure. THE MOST PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN TO EVER WORK    WITH US ...PERIOD! Actually,I began emailing Pat in the spring of 2004. I heard that he had some original songs that he had wanted to record since the 1950's. Pat like all  historic rockers that I have worked with was really skeptical of me and the  record label. And rightly so......50's record labels were at best OK and at  worst rip off artists to say the least. After a few months of hard questions from Pat and honest up front answers from me, Pat decided that he would sign a contract with us at Wild Hare Records. Pat did sign with a caveat "my  music my way". I said no problem. Pat signed and I started dancing a jig.  Quite truthfully I have never stopped dancing, when it comes to Pat Cupp. Pat arrived in West Virginia at our antiquated all analog studio after a two  hour ride from a Washington DC airport. Immediately when Pat got in my 1964 Ranchero, I knew he was a winner, a real authentic nice guy with loads of personality and down to earth as could be. Pat had planned 10-11 songs for the CD and most of them were written in the 1950's or even before. Pat was a consummate professional and worked closely with all staff musicians to come up with mood and sound that Pat wanted. He never over reached, was demanding or un reasonable. He was a real people person and it came across in the recordings. I remember fondly about how relaxing the sessions were. It took 10 hours to record 12 songs. 10 made it onto the CD. All recorded live to analog tape. The thing I remember most was the question that was asked: " how did you get that sound back in the 50's, that real rockabilly sound?" Pat's answer has been my guiding light ever since. Pat replied" That's easy, you see back then, we were doing acoustic music. There were no mics on the drum, no amp  for the bass, no loud PA system. The guitar amp was pushing 5 watts. The volume was kept low and we got a real acoustic sound with that thumping bass and rhythm guitar". I was dumbstruck! Walla! I have been taught by the master! Subsequently, Pat sold out of two large CD runs and I had the pleasure of backing him at Hemsby in 2006. He is the most consummate professional in the business as far as I am concerned and I have worked with many of them through the years. Currently, we are proud to host his international fanclub and it is doing just fine.

What about the other artists on WIld Hare. Do you approach them or do they send you tapes. How does it work?
It depends, we recruit most of our talent. We have been flooded with real hard edge stuff over here that they say is Rockabilly. It ain’t. OK.....Psychobilly is not Rockabilly. There I said it. So we are kinda picky and look for real vintage sounding acts.

What about Ryan Cain? This guys seems very young.
Yes, what a great bunch of young guys. They are a real West Virginia act. They are all 25 years old.Very talented bunch of kids.

It takes only a few bars to know that you're listening to a WIld Hare record. How did you achieve that? Did you have that specific sound in mind or did it come by experiencing? How much do you involve yourself in the recording sessions? Do you suggest arrangements or things like that. In one word, do you work as a producer?
I don’t  know, many of our artist have said it is magic experience working here. I just have a sound in my head and go with my instincts. Not that I am all that talented, the sessions are very low stress and we don’t watch the clock. We experiment and I do direct and guide when the mood hits me. Most of the songs are arranged on the spot and I discourage rehearsing. We hit it live and raw. There are no overdubs or tracking. If we don’t get it right in two or three takes, we move on to something else.

I personnally think, maybe cause I'm a drummer myself, that Mark Pettijohn is one key element of this sound...
Mark was with Vinylux’s  Boom Boom Cats. And now the Garnet Hearts. This guy is a real 40's hillbilly jazz drummer. However, we have used at least 8 different drummers, but Mark is one of the best ever.

Is there a special artist you'd like to work with?
Geesh...I have worked with so many great artists........ I still would like to dig up another obscure 50s rocker and get him on tape! Do you know of any?

What's in the can for Wild Hare?
Keep a keen ear out for an outstanding Buck Stevens 45ep and full length CD this fall. The recordings are done and the artwork is in progress.

A last word?
THANK all of you who have bought our CDs and 45s, your kind word s of encouragement and most importantly keeping this music alive and for supporting our great artists!

Check out Wild Hare website

Coming soon, a complete, and reviewed, discography.