16 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Offering further proof of what a tight and creatively restless band they are, this fourth release by the Legendary Shack Shakers finds them again tweaking their possessed blend of blues, country, and rockabilly to deliver the swampy sound promised in the title. The Balkan gypsy touches of their last release have been replaced by a bayou-flavored boogie that lives somewhere between the Delta and Appalachia, with scorching harp, frenzied piano, and guitars dripping with reverb. Featuring 16 songs in just over 30 minutes, the tunes flow along smoothly from style to style, moving from sly tent revival gospel (“Born Again Again”) to spot-on mountain jug band (“Jimblyleg Man”) to righteous rockabilly (“He Ain’t Right”). Frontman Colonel J.D. Wilkes’ lyrics conjure up colorful images of feral beasts, sepia dreams, cattle stuck in oak trees, biblical floods, and other signs of a Southern Gothic apocalypse, and the energy and drive of the band never eases up. Swampblood reveals a crack — and cracked — band at the height of its considerable powers.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Offering further proof of what a tight and creatively restless band they are, this fourth release by the Legendary Shack Shakers finds them again tweaking their possessed blend of blues, country, and rockabilly to deliver the swampy sound promised in the title. The Balkan gypsy touches of their last release have been replaced by a bayou-flavored boogie that lives somewhere between the Delta and Appalachia, with scorching harp, frenzied piano, and guitars dripping with reverb. Featuring 16 songs in just over 30 minutes, the tunes flow along smoothly from style to style, moving from sly tent revival gospel (“Born Again Again”) to spot-on mountain jug band (“Jimblyleg Man”) to righteous rockabilly (“He Ain’t Right”). Frontman Colonel J.D. Wilkes’ lyrics conjure up colorful images of feral beasts, sepia dreams, cattle stuck in oak trees, biblical floods, and other signs of a Southern Gothic apocalypse, and the energy and drive of the band never eases up. Swampblood reveals a crack — and cracked — band at the height of its considerable powers.

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3:47
2:12
2:16
3:10
0:16
1:36
2:18
2:48
3:11
2:39
2:10
1:55
1:38
1:14
1:01

About Legendary Shack Shakers

A roots rock juggernaut from Nashville, Tennessee, the Legendary Shack Shakers are a hot-rodded foursome combining blues, rockabilly, country, and rock & roll into one manic assemblage boasting all the gloriously explosive instability of an M-80. Originally comprised of Colonel J.D. Wilkes on lead vocals and harmonica, Joe Buck on guitar, Mark "The Duke" Robertson on upright bass, and Pauly Simmonz behind the drums, the Legendary Shack Shakers were all members of various renegade country acts playing in Nashville's notorious "Lower Broadway" district, and Buck and Wilkes spent time playing on the road as part of Hank Williams III's band.

Assuming the Shack Shakers moniker in 2001, the band quickly developed a potent reputation for its raucous live show, in which the manic tempo of the music was matched by Wilkes' over the top stage performance, which earned him a citation as Nashville's Best Frontman in the Music City entertainment magazine Scene. After extensive touring with Hank Williams III and Southern Culture on the Skids, the Legendary Shack Shakers self-released their first CD, Cockadoodledon't, in early 2003; shortly afterward, the band signed with Chicago-based "insurgent country" label Bloodshot Records, which reissued Cockadoodledon't in the spring of that same year.

In 2003, Buck left the Shack Shakers to play with Hank III full-time, and the heavily tattooed David Lee took over on guitar; the new lineup of the band moved from Bloodshot to Yep Roc Records for the release of the (somewhat) more polished sophomore album, 2004's Believe. In 2005, Simmonz left the band and was replaced by Brett Whitacre. Their third record, Pandelerium, arrived in January 2006. The live Lower Broad Lo-Fi was released in 2007, followed later that same year by Swampblood. Agri-dustrial appeared in 2010, which featured guitarist Duane Denison, formerly of the Jesus Lizard and Hank III's road band.

After a five-year layoff, the Legendary Shack Shakers returned in 2015 with a lineup featuring Wilkes on vocals, blues harp, and banjo, Robertson on bass, Rod Hamdallah on guitar, and Brett Whitacre on drums. The band signed a deal with Alternative Tentacles Records, which released the album The Southern Surreal in time for the Shack Shakers' 20th anniversary. When not busy with his musical career, Wilkes is also known as a visual artist, publishing comic books and creating elaborate "carnival art" murals on discarded roll-up projection screens.

  • ORIGIN
    Nashville, TN
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    1995

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