The Shack Shakers hit up Kryptonite

July 1, 1993

The Shack Shakers hit up Kryptonite

By Molly Fleming, Staff Writer

The promotional biography for Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers sent from Grassroots Media service is full of the usual hype: “the best Southern Gothic rock & roll,” or “eye-popping, authentic sideshow humbuggery and vaudevillian exuberance,” and even “high octane music and no-holds-barrel stage presence.” These descriptions usually mean a band has paid an illiterate media group far too much to try and make them sound like a big name. Since the alleged “southern Goth rock” group is making its way through Rockford this week, it was necessary to ignore the warning signs from the promotion kit and just listen—it turned out to be good stuff oddly enough.

Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers’ new album Cockadoodledon’t from Bloodshot Records is a standard hillbilly rock with a small hint of irony. Bringing a bit of Nashville to Rockford will be nothing newIt wouldn’t be surprising if the group sported mullets as part of their stage presence, but actually most of them display those wonderful chop sideburns that have made biker bars and roadhouse clubs so infamous. I’ll bet a Confederate Flag will be involved somewhere on Kryptonite’s stage Friday night.

There is an energy to these Shack Shakers that supersedes all their antics however, and you don’t have to join a club to enjoy them. There are aspects rooted in blue grass and roadhouse blues, but the most major influences are obviously groups like Slayer and Guar. With “Colonel” J.D. Wilkes on harmonica, JoeBuck on guitar, Mark “the Duke” Robertson bass and Pauly Simmonz on drums (I can’t verify that these are their legal names) the group gives the standard set-up for rock bands with an unorthodox sound hailing from the deep South. It’s the latest in rockabilly kicking Mike Ness’ new stuff to the back. I actually prefer Ness, but this is what’s going on in town. If the band lost all their physical comedy, what would be left would be a straight up hard rockin’ Appalachian blues band that rolled down the mountain side into a metal concert arena.

It is warned that nudity and booze is involved with the Shack Shakers stage performance. Having been described as “The Cramps on amphetamines” would probably not be to your grandmother’s tastes, but if you like Jerry Lee Lewis during his alcoholic rages and (not or) Iggy Pop, The Misfits and Slayer, check out Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers. The performance will be at Kryptonite Saturday, May 24, with local group The Spokesmen opening for them. Show starts at 10 p.m. with a $5 cover. For information, call 965-0931.

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