They say music soothes the savage beast, but I’d beg to differ when it comes to one Col. J.D. Wilkes. And I’d venture a guess that anyone who’s been to a Legendary Shackshakers show and seen him go from pre-show cordial, mild-mannered J.D. to snot launchin’, pube tossin’ J.D. once the music starts is likely to agree.
So, what do you do when it’s the music that feeds your inner beast?
Go lo-fi, young man. Go lo-fi.
The Dirt Daubers are Col. J.D. Wilkes, wife Jessica Wilkes and LSS bassist Mark Robinson. Their latest release, Wake Up Sinners!, offers JD a perfect chance to play Dr. Jekyll to his Shackshaker Mr. Hyde. Thirteen songs that would, if music had an instagram app, have the scratchy sepia filter all over them. And you’d need the filter, not for lack of authenticity, but for lack of it having being recorded 70 years ago like it should have been. Unlike their debut, Wake Up Sinners! skates a thin line between being a sound all their own and being LSS minus electricity, and Mr. Robinson joining them for this album has made that line ever thinner. That said, for every “The Devil Gets His Due” moment where you could be convinced this is the Shackshakers performing an acoustic show in someone’s backyard, there’s an “Angel Along The Track” moment where J.D. and crew emerge from under the LSS shadow. The standout track on this cd has to be their cover of the old Lulu Belle and Scotty single, “Single Girl”, as it just fits this sound so perfectly.
I offer no hesitation in labeling this cd as Essential Listening, as I think it takes the classic country sound and adds enough modernization and gloss to it to make it attractive to the average passerby without spoiling any of its integrity.