JD Wilkes and the legendary Shack Shakers present the new album ‘Cockadoodledeux’ with “RAWHIDE!”
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, JD Wilkes & the Legendary Shack Shakers are organizing a little “family reunion” with their next album, Cockadoodledeux, featuring the current lineup of musicians, as well as original players from the ’90s, including multi-instrumentalist Chris Scruggs and bassist Morgan Jahnig. The record, their first for Alternative Tentacles, also features contributions from Kentucky figures such as Sun Studio guitarist Stanley Walker, Dobroist Jack Martin and acclaimed Cajun “Hillbilly” violinist Bob Prather.
Along with the album announcement, JD Wilkes revealed the first single “RAWHIDE! », A collaboration with the founder of the label and punk / rock titan Jello Biafra, who sings the backing vocals and makes a special appearance in the music video directed by Nathan Brown. Directed by frequent collaborators and animators Tara Billinger and Zac Bellissimo, the visual embraces a Western theme, mixing an animation taken from Gulch long gone to public domain images of The terror of the small town.
“Everyone knows the tune of that old Clint Eastwood show or the saloon scene in ‘The Blues Brothers’. However, if you’re really cool you know Jello Biafra sang it with the Dead Kennedys, ”Wilkes shares. “You could have assumed that I knew it too, because I chose it for track n ° 1 of our new album… on the Jello label! No. Turns out I’m not that cool.
“Nonetheless, he said he really appreciated that I didn’t grow up listening to his band. Maybe our gift for being charismatic frontmen comes less from rock, punk or any other ‘scene’, and more from one place within, ”he continues. “A source of pain maybe… or a twisted mind, in my case.” Jello was happy to sing on ‘Rawhide’ and he never embarrassed me by telling me it was one of his signature tracks. I found out later, of course, and kicked myself. Still, it impressed me that he kept it cool. Jello is probably the only rock star who isn’t some kind of jerk!
Originally, Wilkes intended to pursue a singular country music style with his 2018 solo studio album, Dream of fire– but his creativity sent him down an entirely different path. “Our old albums jump everywhere, from genre to genre, styles that are even almost diametrically opposed,” he says. “But this record only jumps into country music itself. It really is kind of a big tent. It contains all these little subgenres offering endless variety. From western swing and rockabilly to western spaghetti and bluegrass, and even Tex Mex.
“Suddenly I had all this unused country tunes and I was like, ‘Hey, this could be the new Shack Shakers record,’” adds Wilkes. “And that made sense to me because family reunions and country music seemed to go hand in hand.”
Cockadoodledeux arrives September 17th. Pre-order the exclusive midnight blue vinyl and other merchandise here. A limited oxblood red vinyl will go on sale in select independent record stores on October 8.