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 is re-mobilizing in the fall of 2014 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.
Blazing a trail out of Memphis, Tennessee the Dixie Fried Rock band Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre (JGJM) are on a roll. At the age of fifteen Joey Killingsworth aka Joecephus began his professional music career one night playing drums — backing up his father, the venerable rockabilly legend Bobby “Bo Jack” Killingsworth, Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (known for his novelty hit ‘Haunted House’) and Carrie Lewis who was pregnant with Jerry Lee’s son at the time (!). In the 90s he began playing around Memphis regularly with the band Grendel Crane and at the turn of the century began working steadily with another rockabilly legend Eddie Bond. In the 2000’s he played guitar for a run of shows with Black Oak Arkansas and has also backed Shooter Jennings and 80’s metal legend Thor.
He carries the lessons learned on the road with Bond to this day. Now, as leader, guitarist and frontman for JGJM, who have been referred to as “a cross between Motorhead and Merle Haggard”, he keeps up a workmanlike pace of touring and recording with the band. The band has made nine studio releases over the past sixteen years and can be heard regularly on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The charity albums he has co-produced with Dik LeDoux have featured a stunning array of guest artists including Jello Biafra, Neil Fallon (Clutch), King Buzzo (Melvins), Mick Harvey and Warren Ellis (both of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and dozens of other recognizable names.
As a live act the band have shared the stage with artists as diverse as Johnny Winter, Shooter Jennings, Blackberry Smoke, Mike Watt, Antiseen and many more.
Joecephus and his band which includes Dik LeDoux and Rudy Forster (member of 90s road warriors Blackbone) are bringing their full auditory assault to any venue that can take it.