Legendary Shack Shakers' Dutch shows next week22-03-2017
Taking in one of the Legendary Shack Shakers' thrilling, sometimes terrifying, live performances is akin to witnessing a gospel revival or even a snake-handling ceremony. And for good reason: the Kentucky band’s magnetic leader, vocalist and harmonica maven J.D. Wilkes spent his formative years at a charismatic religious school, where he became obsessed with the rituals he encountered, from speaking in tongues to laying of hands.
Wilkes is fascinated by such phenomena, along with all forms of American folklore and mythology. On the Legendary Shack Shakers’ latest album The Southern Surreal, the group’s first in five years, he further dives into the abyss. The record, released via Jello Biafra‘s label Alternative Tentacles Records, is a collection of country, blues and rockabilly, all of it held together by bits of eerie, atmospheric sounds Wilkes recorded himself like a modern-day Lomax brother. The result is an Americana gothic concept album, full of shadowy glimpses into a counterculture South, where Mothman sightings are common and legends run wild.