The Rock City archives: 2014

Legendary Shack Shakers, Rock City (Basement)

  • Wednesday 22nd October 2014



The Legendary Shack Shakers (originally Those or Th' ) are an American rockabilly/blues band that formed in Paducah, Kentucky in the mid-1990s. They are inspired by Rock 'n Roll, Country Blues, Old Time music, Carnival music, Swamp rock, and other obscure Southern music genres. The band originally had a traditional rockabilly sound, but later began to relie more on its rock 'n roll and "southern gothic" influences.

Founding member J.D. Wilkes is the band's vocalist and also plays the harmonica. Musical maverick JoeBuck joined the band in the early 21st Century and played all the upright bass, guitars, and drums on the group's first wide release release, Cockadoodledon't (2003). Wilkes is noted for his theatric stage performances, which have been compared to those of Iggy Pop, David Byrne, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Joe Buck left the band in late 2003 and began touring and recording with Hank Williams III. Mark Robertson currently plays upright bass, and Brett Whitacre is the drummer. Duane Denison, member of recently reformed The Jesus Lizard (and formerly of Hank Williams III) joined the band in 2008. Current garage blues guitar player Rod Hamdallah joined the group in early 2012.

The band initially gained notoriety when GEICO used their track "CB Song" on their year-long "Sunglasses" television ad. Horror novelist Stephen King would later list the same track as among his iPod's Top Five in a 2008 Entertainment Weekly article. That same year, the Legendary Shack Shakers' tune "Swampblood" was featured on the soundtrack for HBO's True Blood, the CD release of which went on to receive a Grammy nomination the following year.

Throughout the mid 2000s, the band regularly toured with The Reverend Horton Heat, who also appears as a guest guitarist on three tracks from their 2006 album, Pandelirium. Former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra also guested on the album's opening track, "Ichabod."

Robert Plant is a noted Legendary Shack Shakers fan, and hand-picked the band to open for him on his 2005 tour of Europe. Plant also named "Believe" his favorite record of 2005.

The band released their 6th studio album; AgriDustrial, on April 13, 2010 on their own Colonel Knowledge record label.

Occasionally, Wilkes and the Shack Shakers appear in the Danish theatrical production FUBAR., a production of Copenhagen’s Mute Comp Theatre. The play, which tackles the subject of illegal gun trade around the globe, features a speaking part by Wilkes. After performing at the 2013 production of FUBAR, the band resumed their two-year hiatus. Currently, Legendary Shack Shakers is slated for a reunion concert at the 2014 Muddy Roots festival in Cookeville, TN.

After their special appearance at the Muddy Roots Festival in August, the Shack Shakers will be on tour in September 2014, playing shows across the East Coast and Midwest.