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.
“When it comes to our sound, we have a lot of different things in it so a lot of times it’s hard to define, but the one common thread is that as soon as people hear it, they become Believers and it’s something that resonates with them,” Bernz says. “On a more esoteric level, we chose the title because we believe and the people we roll with believe that you ask the universe for things and you get them in return. You have to believe in what you want and believe it to achieve it.”
To this end, the Miami-based crew jumpstarts Believers with the energetic tag-team raps of Bernz and Wrekonize on the driving title track before delivering a rousing reggae-tinged declaration of their potency on “Shots Fired.” “We try to start our albums with a bang,” Bernz says. “It’s our time to become the group that everybody wants us to be. ‘Shots Fired’ is us claiming our spot. We feel like we put out great music and that our sound could appeal to a lot of people.”
¡Mayday! takes a more introspective stance on “Unplug.” On this collaboration with Kardinal Offishall, Bernz and Wrekonize examine the ways our lives are affected by how we connect to people and to technology. “On our last couple albums, we’ve touched on social media and the way it’s affecting us on a personal level,” Bernz says. “This is another swing of the bat at that. We all sit at restaurants with our friends and look at our phones. They say we’re all becoming more connected, but the question arises if we really are.”
Ticket holders for this show get into Sinferno Cabaret free on the same night.
Oregon Arts Watch recently referred to cellist/multi-instrumentalist Skip vonKuske "one of Oregon's finest and most adventurous musicians." A co-founder of the Portland Cello Project, the genre defying cello ensemble, Skip continues to perform and collaborate with other artists. His solo project is "cellotronik", in which he incorporates a rich array of cello, guitar, mandolin, vocals, software instruments and live looping. The result is a unique blend of classical virtuosity, rocknroll heart, and folksy charm wrapped in a cloak of inspired originals, improvisations, and unexpected cover songs.
Voted by BURLESQUE MAGAZINE as one of the Top 10 Burlesque shows in the USA!
A sinful circus of burlesque, fire-dancing, DJs & debauchery. Every Sunday night for 19 years...the longest-running weekly cabaret show on the west coast!
The original live karaoke band, rocking in Portland for 25 years and counting. Come see us every Monday at Dante's!
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