The Legendary Shack Shakers’ hell-for-leather roadshow has earned quite a name for itself with
its unique brand of Southern Gothic that is all-at-once irreverent, revisionist, dangerous, and fun.
Led by their charismatic, rail-thin frontman and blues-harpist JD Wilkes, the Shack Shakers are
a four-man wrecking crew from the South whose explosive interpretations of the blues, punk,
rock and country have made fans, critics and legions of potential converts into true believers.
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.
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