8 PM / ALL AGES / $20
The Legendary Shack Shakers’ hell-for-leather roadshow has earned quite a name for itself with its unique brand of Southern Gothic that is all-at-once irreverent, revisionist, dangerous, and fun. Led by their charismatic, rail-thin frontman and blues-harpist JD Wilkes, the Shack Shakers are a four-man wrecking crew from the South whose explosive interpretations of the blues, punk, rock and country have made fans, critics and legions of potential converts into true believers.
After taking more than a year off to work on other projects (including JD Wilkes's book "Barn Dances & Jamborees Across Kentucky"), the band remobilized in the fall of 2014, with tours across the USA and Europe, much to the excitement of many a Shack Shaker fanatic. Despite the group’s time off, their reputation for intensity has stuck with them. On stage, JD has been compared to the likes of Iggy Pop, David Byrne, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Nashville Scene named Wilkes “the best frontman in Nashville” in 2002, while former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra has called JD “the last great Rock and Roll frontman.” Having joined the band in early 2012, garage blues guitar player Rod Hamdallah--who also lends his prowess to Wilkes's side project ‘JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers'--is back in the Shack Shakers’ lineup. The rhythm section is rounded out with Brett Whitacre on drums and Mark Robertson thumping out the upright bass.
Although not legendary upon being named, the band has grown into its reputation the last several years due to their heavy tour schedule, six critically acclaimed studio albums, and songs that have been featured on television shows such as HBO’s True Blood. Past tour mates and fans include Reverend Horton Heat, Rancid, The Black Keys, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, and Hank Williams III. Robert Plant is also a noted Legendary Shack Shakers fan, and picked the band to open for him on his 2005 tour of Europe. Plant named the band's third album Believe as one of his favorite records of 2005. The list of esteemed admirers goes on to include horror novelist Stephen King, who listed “CB Song” as among his iPod’s Top Five in a 2008 Entertainment Weekly article. Such a wealth of devoted fans over the years has only added to the mystique that the Legendary Shack Shakers possess, carrying them down the road toward new creative pursuits and barn-shaking tunes.
Jesse Dayton has been building a cult following around the globe playing festivals in North America and Europe for years with his guitar shredding, country-infused, Americana sound. As a critic’s darling for his first record on Justice Records, Raisin’ Cain (1995), and a number one Americana radio ranking, Jesse was hired at a young age to play lead guitar on some of the last recordings, and play live, by country legends Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Johnny Bush, Willie Nelson & Glen Campbell and he’s been featured in many guitar magazines.
Sensing a shift in the music business climate, Jesse formed his own label in 2002, Stag Records, and began his most prolific recording period. While recording five solo records, one duet record, one live record, all on Stag, as well as two soundtrack recordings (Devil’s Rejects, Halloween 2) for rocker/director Rob Zombie, Jesse managed to act in movies and music videos, produce several records for other artists (the latest being Supersuckers front man Eddie Spaghetti’s “The Value Of Nothing” on Bloodshot Records), write two screenplays, and most recently wrote and directed a new horror movie, “Zombex,” starring Malcolm McDowell, Sid Haig, John Doe, and Lew Temple (“Walking Dead). All while still performing 150 shows per year.
Returning to the recording studio, Dayton brought what he calls, “my best batch of tunes yet.” Dayton, along with Evans and Christiansen, recorded the majority of the record live. “You could feel the ghost of George Jones, Freddy Fender, Doug Sahm & Jerry Lee Lewis (who recorded there with producer Huey Meaux), in the room while we were working!” Dayton says, “I wanted to get great live root-sy sounds, like the records I loved growing up, but with a real Texas songwriter, story-telling, approach to the lyrics.” Dayton has certainly gone back to those roots, that Texas/Louisiana border feel, with The Revealer. His latest album starts with a bang titled “Daddy Was A Badass” a driving piece recalling about the hard charging life of own father and uncles. This opening track explains a whole hell of a lot about who Jesse Dayton is and why he sounds so different from the current wave of Americana artists.
The songs are personal, about his family and where he’s from. Never opting for the typical lyrics, you can hear Dayton is a big Bob Dylan & Townes Van Zandt fan. There will be no writing about pink Cadillacs & poodle skirts. “It seems like most of the retro stuff I hear these days,” Dayton explains, “is very paint by numbers, not personal or vulnerable. I love what Dylan did on a few of his later records, where he would do a smokin’ R&B or country song, but with real story lyrics.” The Beaumont native, turned Austin-ite also says, “this record is more guitar-centric, more stripped down and all about my guitar playing; very little piano or any other instruments”. Collaboration can be the key to many success stories, so to here on The Revealer. On one of those tunes, “Three Pecker Goat” Dayton co-wrote it with longtime friend and Americana star Hayes Carll and later, he duets on “Match Made In Heaven” with Austin songbird Brennan Leigh.
Dayton’s upcoming tour schedule is insane. He just finished performing aboard the “The Outlaw Country Cruise” with Lucinda Williams, The Mavericks and Steve Earle. Dayton’s music was such a hit, he’s already been asked back for the next cruise. His tour dates go non-stop into next year. Come on out and listen to this tall Texan take you on a zydeco-flavored trip through his musical mind, you will not be disappointed!