Country rockers polish their chops with the other Elvis.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The members of country rock group Jackshit have one simple rule: no original songs. Drummer and vocalist Pet Thomas, an original member of Elvis Costello’s backing band The Attractions and a current member of the famed musician’s group the Imposters, says that’s because Jackshit strives to play only the best songs out there. “If we were all writing songs, not all of them would be good,” he says.
The trio—which includes seasoned players like the current Imposters bassist Davey “Short Shit” Faragher and Jackson Browne’s guitarist Val “Beau Shit” McCallum—met on the set of the former television sitcom Ally McBeal, where each was contributing to the program’s soundtrack.
When a co-worker was late arriving to the show’s studio in 2001, the three musicians found themselves with an open morning and a room full of recording equipment. So, in less than three hours, the trio cut their self-titled debut, which includes a chunky guitar rock take on The Flying Burrito Brothers’ “Christine’s Tune (Devil in Disguise)” and a haunting version of the traditional murder ballad “Down in the Willow Garden.”
Thomas admits that “Down in the Willow Garden” is not the only tune about killing that pops up in the band’s set list during live shows. “We do quite a few murdering songs,” he says. “We usually have a murdering section at the show.”
For the musicians, who have played on albums by Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow, Jackshit is a chance to let their hair down and have some fun. “[Jackshit] is like the antidote to all the session work we do,” Thomas says.
Also, Jackshit is an opportunity for the bandmembers to do more onstage than strictly perform music. Thomas says that the group often has humorous segments in between songs. “I think what surprises people is how entertaining it is,” Thomas says of Jackshit’s live shows. “The sort of edge that we have is that it is a laugh.”
Jackshit plays Monterey Live, 414 Alvarado St., Monterey, Friday at 9:30pm. $7/advance; $10/at the door. 375-5483.