JD Wilkes (The Legendary Shack Shakers), Bonnie Montgomery, Timber

JD Wilkes (The Legendary Shack Shakers)

Bonnie Montgomery


Wed · February 21, 2018

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 10:00 pm

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is 21 and over

JD Wilkes (The Legendary Shack Shakers)
JD Wilkes (The Legendary Shack Shakers)
Southern Gothic/Hillbilly Blues from Paducah KY

JD Wilkes (The Legendary Shack Shakers) is an American musician, visual artist, author, filmmaker and self-proclaimed "southern surrealist". He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (notably on harmonica and banjo), having recorded with such artists as Merle Haggard, John Carter Cash, Mike Patton, and Hank Williams III. Wilkes’ latest solo album Cattle in the Cane (Arkam Records, January 2015) includes his own renditions of traditional tunes (mostly old-time mountain music), with performances by elder Kentucky fiddler Charlie Stamper (the brother of Art Stamper) on many of the tracks. In the last two years, Wilkes has continued to develop his solo project, having toured with Charlie Parr and The Tillers, as well as performing at the 2015 Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Wilkes is perhaps best known as the founder of the Legendary Shack Shakers, a Southern Gothic rock and blues band formed in the mid 90s. Fans of his work with Legendary Shack Shakers include Stephen King, Robert Plant and former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra. Rolling Stone named Wilkes as the “best frontman” at the 2015 Americana Music Association Festival for his performance with the band. Regarding the group’s "southern gothic" lyricism, Billboard Magazine said "[Wilkes writes] mind-blowing lyrics rife with Biblical references and ruminations of life, death, sin and redemption.” Legendary Shack Shakers have toured with the likes of Robert Plant and The Black Keys, among others. Their music has been featured in HBO’s True Blood series, and in a long-running Geico commercial.

JD Wilkes has been compared to iconoclasts like David Byrne, Iggy Pop, or Jerry Lee Lewis, and with his small, wiry frame and intense, incandescent performances, it’s not hard to see why. But while he plays the carnival barker onstage, he’s a dedicated lifelong student of true Southern culture. Master banjo player Dom Flemons said, “JD is a real old-Kentucky banjo player and he can take that to the bank! I gotta watch out next time I see his banjo.” A resident of Paducah, Kentucky, Wilkes is a Kentucky Colonel, an honorable title bestowed by the state's Governor upon those with a connection to, or who are famous residents of the state of Kentucky. In 2015, Wilkes was featured on the BBC original series Songs of the South, in an episode focusing on the musical history of Tennessee and Kentucky.

Aside from his prolific career in music, Wilkes is also a published writer, having recently authored the book Barn Dances and Jamborees Across Kentucky, an exploration of his state’s social music and dance history based on extensive fieldwork and research. A true Southern Renaissance man, Wilkes is also an accomplished visual artist (specializing in comics, sideshow banners and book illustrations) as well as a documentary filmmaker (his documentary Seven Signs explores “music, myths, and the American South” and was screened at the UK’s prestigious Raindance Film Festival).
Bonnie Montgomery
Bonnie Montgomery
Country singer / composer from Arkansas

I'm Bonnie Montgomery, 2016 Ameripolitan Outlaw Female and I've just finished my second full length album "Forever" which was recorded this spring with love and magic in Austin, TX at Dale Watson's Ameripolitan Studios, and also includes a duet with Dale as a guest vocalist.

Upon hearing my music, Paste Magazine recently said "...A classically trained opera singer, Bonnie Montgomery is known for her warm country voice and her timeless songwriting, but her talents don't stop there".

My first LP “Bonnie Montgomery” and two previous EPs were released on the Fast Weapons label and I have toured across the US and Europe in support of those releases, sharing the stage with Gossip, Shovels and Rope, Robert Ellis, Hayes Carll, Billy Jo Shaver, Turnpike Troubadours, Pokey LaFarge, Wayne “the Train” Hancock, Joe Ely, Moot Davis, Mike and the Moonpies, Adia Victoria, Dale Watson, John Moreland and Sturgill Simpson, among others.

Also a classical composer, my opera “Billy Blythe” premiered in New York and has been featured in The New Yorker, Huffington Post, and The Economist.

A Classically trained opera singer, Bonnie Montgomery is known for her warm country voice and her timeless songwriting, but her talents don't stop there --Paste Magazine
Singer Songwriters from Birmingham AL

Janet Simpson-Templin, Will Stewart

Timber is a collaboration between Janet Simpson and Will Stewart — two veteran musicians who came together in that most natural of ways: In a pinch.

Stewart, an Alabama native currently based in Nashville along with the rest of the band, Willie and the Giant, was working on his Coosa EP when it was suggested that Simpson — a multi-faceted, Birmingham, Alabama based musician known for her work in Wooden Wand, Delicate Cutters, and Teen Getaway — to lend her talents to the proceedings. Pressed for time, Simpson came to the studio that day, spent an hour adding keys and her sumptuous voice to a few of Stewart’s songs, and left to catch a plane for a European tour with Wooden Wand.

Last summer, out of the blue, Stewart e-mailed Simpson about writing together. Impressed by Stewart’s melodic gifts and easy demeanor, Simpson accepted the offer. Soon they began trading songs via e-mail, giving each other notes along the way. Once a small batch of similarly-themed compositions made itself apparent, the two met at 2734 Central Recording Studio in Birmingham, AL — working, once again, with producer Lester Nuby — to record their self-titled debut.

Though the two had been exchanging songs online, Simpson and Stewart did not know much about each other, much less how to go about recording their new compositions. Over coffee they talked about productions they were currently enamored with, including albums by Teenage Fanclub, Yo La Tengo, D’Angelo, and Neil Young — particularly After The Gold Rush. Caffeinated and invigorated, the two began crafting the album — splitting the instrumental duties, keeping things simple, and embracing spontaneous moments. Per Stewart’s suggestion, they drafted Nashville musician Scott Murray to add pedal steel, utilizing the instrument’s gorgeous washes of sound for atmosphere rather than staid, Americana twang.

After releasing their self-titled EP in in late 2015, Timber are set to release the single "Sunstroke" on November 19th. "Sunstroke" is a composition that is sonically lush with meditative lyrics; invoking hazy imagery that coaxes the listener to join in on the gauzy daydream. Timber issues the warning, "Got to get you outta my head / before it's too late" - leaving an open-ended sense of anxiety, which culminates in a frenetic guitar break to end the song with a cathartic release. Timber are currently working to finalize their debut full-length album, which is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2017.
Venue Information:
The Nick
2514 10th Ave S
Birmingham, AL, 35205