Kentucky has always been the fertile crescent of country music. It just happens to be that lately it has kicked its output into overdrive, and more than any other state at the moment, it’s Kentucky’s sons and daughters fueling the country music insurgency turning the mainstream on its head.
Will 2018 be yet another banner year for independent country releases like 2017 was? We’ll have to see, but what we do know is what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about other projects that could come to light later in the year. Here’s a detailed run down.
Anderson East, Ashley Campbell, Brandi Carlile, Caitlyn Smith, Caleb Caudle, Courtney Patton, Dallas Moore, Dave Cobb, Dusty Rust, First Aid Kit, JD Wilkes, Laura Benitez, Mary Gauthier, Mike & The Moonpies, Red Shahan, Ruby Boots, Scotty McCreery, Ugly Valley Boys, Vivian Leva, Wade Bowen
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.
One of the last remaining bands that still holds onto that spirit that revitalized Lower Broadway and still plays there on a regular basis is Hillbilly Casino. Nearing their 10-year anniversary, the band that can regularly be seen playing Layla’s Bluegrass Inn has released a live album recorded at the Exit Inn called “Live in the USA.” I spoke to the Hillbilly Casino bass player Geoff Firebaugh about the album and Lower Broadway.
BR549, Brent Mason, Dan Huff, Don Kelley, Greg Garing, Harry Fontana, Hillbilly Casino, Jay McDowell, JD Wilkes, Johnny Hiland, Layla's, lower broadway, Nic Roulette, NIck Curran, Paul Birch, Redd Volkaert, Robert's Western World, Sarah Gayle Meech, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Bluegrass Inn, The Don Kelley Band, The Eskimo Brothers, Yelawolf
In September of 2012, Blake Judd of JuddFilms brought a camera crew to the famous Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, TN to shoot a pilot episode for a television series that has never been aired. The idea was to take well-known established artists, worthy undiscovered musicians and songwriters, and stick them all in Johnny Cash’s legendary cabin with an open bar, and set the camera’s rolling.
Amanda Isbell Shires, Col, Hellbound Glory, Jason Isbell, JD Wilkes, Jessica Wilkes, Joey Allcorn, John Anderson, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Judd Films, Kellie Pickler, Leon Virgil Bowers, Leroy Powell, Leroy Virgil, Rico, Scott Icenogle, Shooter Jennings, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Cash Cabin Studio, The Midnight Special
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.
After his award-winning work with artists like Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Jamey Johnson, and so many more, when you see the name Dave Cobb associated with an artist, it’s probably worth paying a little bit closer attention. And such is the case when it comes to burgeoning country artist Lucette from Edmonton, Canada, who just released her first single and video.
Black Is The Color, Blake Judd, Bobby Reid, Dave Cobb, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, JD Wilkes, Lucette, Michael Johns, Otis Redding, Skeeter Davis, Sturgill Simpson, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Dirt Daubers
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.
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.
I love this album. You may look at the track listing and ask yourself why we need yet another version of “Wayfaring Stranger”. The answer is because the great Col. JD Wilkes has never done one before. A perfect mix of classics and originals, don’t just pigeon hole this project as just another rag tag bluegrass bit, there a lot of hot jazz, rockabilly and blues mixed in with the old time string band approach.
Over the last couple of years, the “Jekyll” to JD’s Wilkes “Hyde” from the madhouse Shack Shakers performances, has been a side project called The Dirt Daubers. They released a homespun self-titled album in 2009 but are now planning their first proper release Wake Up, Sinners! for September 13th via Colonel Knowledge Records.
That’s right my friends, royalty will be gracing the Muddy Roots Festival stage in Cookeville TN on September 3rd & 4th. And when I say “gracing”, I don’t know that there has ever been another to rock with such grace than the Queen of Rockabilly herself, Wanda Jackson. Few artists can still call themselves relevant and engaging over 50 years after their career started. Even fewer can say they once dumped the King of Rock n’ Roll.
Art Adams Band, Davy Jay Sparrow, Dead Kennedys, JD Wilkes, Jello Biafra, Joe Buck, Muddy Roots Festival, Robert Plant, Sabrina Kelley, Sean Wheeler, The Circle Jerks, The Dirt Daubers, The Harmed Brothers, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Throwrag, Wanda Jackson, Zander Schloss
As lower Broadway became a hoping place in the mid 90’s drawing talent from all around the country, competition for choice time slots at the best bars became fierce, and if you didn’t keep the patrons entertained, there was no money in the tip jar. With so much talent and so few bars and dollars to go around, competition became hyper. In this environment, talent and originality were pushed to their limits and it created some of the most dynamic frontmen in any genre of music at any time.
Exit In, Hatch Show Print, Hillbilly Casino, Jason and the Scorchers, JD Wilkes, Jello Biafra, Joe Buck, lower broadway, Nashville, Robert Plant, Robert's Western World, The Bluegrass Inn, The Grand Ole Opry, The Legendary Shack Shakers, The Ryman Auditorium
Now that we’re all able to take a deep breath after the Justin Townes Earle breakdown in Indianapolis and his subsequent tour cancellation and rehab stint, there’s a few things that need to be said, first and foremost being that with all the allegations and points of justification out there, and with legal matters pending, it is the responsibility of ALL of us to assume that Justin Townes Earle is innocent until he is proven guilty.
Pound for pound, possibly the most underrated personality in music is the frontman and founder of the Legendary Shack Shakers, one Colonel JD Wilkes. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Jello Biafra of Alternative Tentacles and The Dead Kennedays who called JD Wilkes, “the last great Rock and Roll frontman.” Robert Plant is also […]
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers are proof positive that even bands on the fringes of punk and psychobilly are more country than mainstream country these days. Frontman Col. JD Wilkes has the heart of Hasil Adkins, the body of Lux Interior, and more knowledge and wisdom of the ways of country music than all of the […]
Seeing Denver’s Slim Cessna’s Auto Club live is a religious experience. And if you’ve ever seen them, you know that calling it “religious” is less of a descriptive tool, and more of a pun. This is one of those bands that I’d heard for years how I must see live, and without question, they lived […]
In the last year or two, many new artists and bands have sprung up in the Outlaw/ Underground country movement, many new fans, podcasts, etc. But this all would not be possible if it wasn’t for the hard work of a few musicians, the trunk of the tree from which these new branches have sprung […]