LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS
There was nothing fancy about Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers Cockadoodledon’t when it was unleashed on an unsuspecting public in 2002. 19 years later, for idiosyncratic founder J.D. Wilkes and his unhinged, some might even say deranged, roots music eclecticism, comes for this follow-up of sorts.
The band’s concept has altered over the years from its punk/blues/rockabilly origins to twisted bluegrass (Wilkes is proficient on harmonica and banjo) and warped yet authentic swamp rock. But the focus has remained on Wilkes’ unpredictable penchant for diving headfirst into whatever sound he’s pushing, and emerging sputtering, frantically and fervently clinging onto tattered shards of his Southern traditions.
There’s enough hot-wired twang to blast out of the blocks with a cracked, deranged version of the instrumental ‘Rawhide’. “Yee-haw” you’ll be shouting, without looking to see who is watching, as the reverbed guitar crunches and Wilkes cries “Rolling, rolling, rolling… rawhide” in a mad dash to the ending whip cracks and mooing cows. How can anyone not love this?
And he’s just getting warmed up.
It’s a rip-snorting hoedown as Wilkes whips through hot country licks with the passion of a backcountry preacher, as elements of blues, jazz, string band music and the effects of heavy drinking comingle over the next 11 tracks, all done and dusted in just over a half hour.
No solos, no extended instrumental passages, just fun, frisky pure C&W that you might have heard on the radio in the 60s, sung by Wilkes with his tongue often planted firmly in his cheek
The past 25 years have seen Wilkes ping-ponging from one group of Shake Shakers to another, changing styles faster than his underwear yet doggedly staying true to a love of, if somewhat skewed outlook on, backwoods rustic Americana. He’s still at it, ready to take his caffeinated vision and boundless energy to the next quarter century.
Side A :
02. Tickle Yore Innards
03. They Won't Let Me Forget (All The Things I Can't Recall)
04. Godforsaken Town
06. Port Arthur Boys
Side B :
01. Secret Mountain
02. I Told You So
03. I Don't Remember Loving You
04. Punk Rock Retirement Pan
06. Farewell Ye Rovin' Eyed Girls