Muscadine Bloodline's Gary Stanton and Charlie Muncaster both grew up playing music in Mobile, Alabama, with mutual friends saying they should connect. But their first official meeting didn't happen until about six years ago, when Muncaster's college band was playing a show in Mobile and needed an opening act. Stanton got the call. During his junior year at the University of Southern Mississippi, Stanton started his own band and the two began swapping opening slots and writing together.
After graduation in 2015, Stanton headed to Nashville while Muncaster commuted from Alabama to play and write with him. In October of that year, Muncaster made his move and, the very next week, the guys were in the studio cutting three songs. Muscadine Bloodline became a reality upon their release in December 2015, and “we haven't looked back since,” Stanton says.
They have, however, spent most of their weekends on the road, gigging across the Southland because they believe in making their fans the old-fashioned way: by earning them, one at a time. “We really want to 'grassroots' Muscadine Bloodline,” Muncaster says. “It’s cool to watch it grow town by town — coming back to a town and more people are there. That is hard to do these days, but it truly is the definition of staying true to yourself and the music you put out.”
With a soulfulness in their harmonies and a catchiness in their hooks, the music Muscadine Bloodline puts out echoes the combination of classic country and Southern rock they both grew up listening to, from the Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Eric Church and Blackberry Smoke.
Unlike many artists in contemporary country, Muscadine Bloodline leans away from frivolity and into earnestness, a reflection of their own lives and loves. Thinking about country music, Stanton notes, “I fell in love with the stories, not the sound. As a writer, it is cool to put myself in a situation, whether it directly applies to me or not. That’s why I love country music and that’s why we love writing about real topics, instead of party anthems.”
Muscadine Bloodline's brand of country music tells stories of new highways and old memories. As their own story is only just beginning, how do they hope it all unfolds? “We’d be lying if we said we wouldn’t want to be the most successful duo there ever was, but we just really want to play good, honest music that moves hearts and not hips,” Stanton says. “But sometimes they can go hand-in-hand.”