The crazy and wild-eyed Col. JD Wilkes and his backup band of wily misfits known as the Legendary Shack Shakers will be returning with their 9th studio album called ‘After You’ve Gone.’ Their decidedly lo-fi sound mixes the influences of the deep and derelict blues with the fearful prayers of primitive Appalachian country.
Legendary Shack Shakers
Amidst their 20th Anniversary as a band, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers have announced they have signed to legendary punk label Alternative Tentacles, and will be releasing their first album in five years The Southern Surreal on September 11th. The news comes after the band resumed touring last year after calling it quits in November of 2012.
Alternative Tentacles, Billy Bob Thornton, Charlie Stamper, Duane Denison, Jello Biafra, Jessica Wilkes, Legendary Shack Shakers, Ralph Carney, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, The Dead Kennedys, The Dirt Daubers, The Southern Surreal
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers are like a force of nature and couldn’t stay gone for long. After their nearly three-year hiatus, they are about to embark on a big tour starting at the Muddy Roots Festival and routing up through the Northeast with the Whiskey Shivers opening. And according to the band’s frontman, there’s also a new album in the works.
Saving Country Music was out and about Austin, TX and its outskirts over the past week or so as part of the annual South By Southwest (SXSW) gathering, pounding the pavement and looking for the next country music artist worthy of your ears that you may never otherwise hear about. In the coming months I look forward to taking some of these discoveries and sharing them with you.
American Aquarium, Brooklyn Country Cantina, Hurray For The Riff Raff, J.D. Wilkes, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lukas Nelson, Mickey Raphael, Nikki Lane, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sam Doores, Shovels & Rope, South by Southwest, Sturgill Simpson, SXSW, The Cactus Blossoms, The Defibulators, The Deslondes, The Dirt Daubers, Tim Easton, Willie Nelson, Willie Watson
Larry & His Flask is an interesting music specimen. The biggest advice I could give to an underground roots band right now would be, “Get away from underground roots if you want to grow,” and Larry & His Flask’s success is the perfect example why. Their 2011 stint on the Warped Tour and taking the time to do things right on the business side….
The Tiller’s latest album and 5th overall entitled Hand On The Plow is the inaugural issuance from the newly-formed Muddy Roots Records, and features 11 tantalizing tracks and an appearance by Legendary Shack Shaker and Dirt Dauber Col. JD Wilkes on harmonica. And lookie here, you can listen to the whole dern thing below. So put down your iPhones and log out of Facebook, and let’s get real.
By request, here is my list of the greatest underground country albums of all time. The underground country movement started roughly in the mid 90’s on lower Broadway in Nashville that at the time was a run down part of town. Young musicians from around the country, some from punk backgrounds, came together from their mutual love of authentic country music.
.357 String Band, Andy Gibson, Bob Wayne, BR549, Dale Watson, Donnie Herron, Hank Williams, Hank3, Hellbound Glory, Jayke Orvis, JB Beverley, Joe Buck, Justin Townes Earle, Legendary Shack Shakers, Leroy Virgil, Lonesome Wyatt, Lucky Tubb, Rachel Brooke, Slackeye Slim, The Boomswagglers, Those Poor bastards, Wayne Hancock
Amongst all the bustle and big names in 1999, another superlative Austin talent released a debut album a little more quietly. The idea that there’s an amazing, world-class music talent on every corner of Austin, TX is not a myth, and Roger Wallace is a testament to that. But what many of Austin’s legendary local artists don’t have that Roger Wallace does is that one album that withstands the test of time.
From the outside looking in, one may look at the lineup of The Muddy Roots Festival for example, and wonder how all these bands could all be booked right beside each other and it work seamlessly. This illustrates the dramatic sonic and geographical diversity that goes into creating what we know now as the underground country roots, or “Muddy Roots” world.
.357 String Band, Ben Prestage, Black Diamond Heavies, Bob Wayne, Bobby Bare, BR549, Calamity Cubes, Dale Watson, Deep Blues Festival, Emmylou Harris, Fat Possum Records, Greg Garing, Hank3, JB Beverley, Junior Kimbrough, Justin Townes Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lone Wolf OMB, Loretta Lynn, Los Duggans, Mike Ness, Muddy Roots Festival, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Ramseur Records, Restavrant, Reverend Horton Heat, RL Burnside, Rusty Knuckles, Scott H. Biram, Slackeye Slim, Some Velvet Evening, Split Lip Rayfield, Steve Erale, Supersuckers, t Model Ford, Ten Foot Polecats, The Avett Bros, The Black Keys, The Devil Makes Three, The Everymen, The Goddamn Gallows, The Pine Box Boys, The Ryman, Those Poor bastards, Tompall Glaser, Trampled by Turtles, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, Willie Nelson, Yep Rock
The leader of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers recently extruded a new musical tentacle into the creative world in the form of The Dirt Daubers, an old-time mountain string band of sorts that he fronts with his lovely wife Jessica. But with a series of slight disturbances in what for lack of a better term we’ll call the “underground country” movement recently, I asked JD Wilkes for his counsel.
Well here it is, the end of December. The last few moments of 2011 are counting down, and yet completely unbeknown to us, right under our noses, one of the most expansive, imaginative, engaging, and inspiring projects all year is finally coming into full bloom. It is called Year of the Horse by the Cold Spring, KY-based Kentucky Struts.
At first I didn’t know what to make of this album. In places, this is the most accessible, most non-dark music they have ever done. There are many bands that if they had put out an album like this, grumbles of “going mainstream” or “selling out” would be heard. But The Auto Club is so weird, so fey to begin with, being more normal actually makes them even more weird than they were before, adding to the mystique and mythos behind the band.
It is not easy to capture the live energy a live band is known for in a recording, but To The Wind And On To Heaven does. I really wouldn’t characterize this project as “produced” or “slick” or “polished.” It is simply honest and fearless. And it is accessible. Listen, I know Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers or Those Poor Bastards are not for everyone, but when you hear Sunday Valley, you think, “Now THIS is what they should be playing on 98.1.”
The uniqueness of Joe Buck is that never has such unchecked anger and vulgarity been accompanied by such Stoic wisdom, coming from the most mild mannered person you’d ever meet. Pissed-offedness is rarely hand in hand with introspection, self-repudiation, and a calm clairvoyance for the impending follies of man. But Joe Buck possesses them all, and at the heart is an outrage over the South’s decaying culture built into a wise, steadfast rage.
Even though T Model is solidly blues, like so many other roots-based independent artists, he has turned to the same underground resources that many independent country acts use to get their music to the people. This has formed the big tent movement that can be seen in things like the Muddy Roots Festival lineup where you have country and blues musicians booked side by side, and nobody bats an eyelash.
.357 String Band, Black Joe Lewis, Bucket City Agency, Colt Ford, Darius Rucker, Dolph Ramseur, Hayes Carll, Jason Aldean, Joe Buck, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lost Highway Records, Rachel Brooke, Ryan Bingham, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, t Model Ford, Taledragger, The Avett Brothers, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Trace Adkins
About this time last year, every website and periodical that regularly does these type of things put out their “Best of the Decade” lists. Problem is, they were all wrong. All of them. And not just for country music. For ALL of music, and for movies, TV shows, whatever. Why? No, not because I’m a raging culture snob, because officially the decade does not end until tonight.
.357 String Band, Cockadoodledon't, Dale Watson, Fire & Hail, Hank III, Home, Jack White, Jamey Johnson, Joe Buck, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Legendary Shack Shakers, Live in London, Loretta Lynn, Lovesick Broke & Driftin', Midnight at the Movies, Straight to Hell, That Lonesome Song, The Dixie Chicks, Van Lear Rose, When The Man Comes Around
Following is my list for the essential albums for 2010, broken down into a few of categories.This is meant to compliment the Album of the Year candidates in this super-packed year for stellar music. Hopefully next year, Saving Country Music can branch out a bit and cover the more traditional mainstream acts, but it will always be on top of the smaller acts trying to get their music out there, not instead of them.
.357 String Band, Brigitte London, Dale Watson, Farmageddon Records, Hank III, Hillstomp, Jayke Orvis, Joseph Huber, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lucky Tubb, Peewee Moore, Pete Berwick, Reverend Deadeye, Shelli Coe, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, The Shivering Denizens, Those Poor bastards, Tom VandenAvond, Trampled by Turtles, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's
Joe Buck is the nexus of where punk and country meet. Former bass player for Hank III, former everything for Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, Joe Buck is now a one man wrecking crew, hell bent on pounding and screaming his message of a world gone mad to the masses. After years of touring and putting out low-fi homespun projects ripped in the back of his motorhome, Joe Buck hooked up with legendary producer Jack Endino to record his first serious project, Piss & Vinegar.
When reviews and videos began to surface from Bob Wayne’s recent tour with Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, the big buzz was about Bob’s new fiddle player named Liz Sloan. Not that Bob hasn’t had great musicians in his band before, quite the contrary, and not that a woman should be considered out of place in Bob’s band, but still Liz’s presence intrigued me wildly because I knew there must be a good story behind it.
Today was going to be the release date for Bob Wayne’s new album Outlaw Carnie, but despite a big press push the last few days, it will not come out until January 25, 2011. Wayne had originally been warning folks the new album wasn’t going to be out until early 2011, but then Oct. 26 had been thrown out there as the date. The new album also at one point was going to be called “From The Camper to the Cadillac.”