They had me at JD. Well, they were bound to, weren’t they?
So, knowing little more than I liked the sound of their band name, I found a replacement CJ for the night. Bringing along a non-country friend (who for the first time in twenty-mumble years of friendship was asked if we were sisters) I went to find out more about a band intriguingly once described as “country rock, bluegrass and swamp blues with a topping of scorching fiddle”.
A couple hours later I left London’s Borderline basement bar enlightened on five things I never knew I needed to know.
#1 What a Ballyhoo is. And what one does.
No, I don’t think I’ll tell you …
#2 You can shred a fiddle.
Well, I don’t know if you can or if it’s called something else when a fiddle is involved but fiddler Erin Slaver certainly came close to setting the strings of her bow alight.
#3 Time Warp (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show) can be ‘countrified’.
“It’s just a jump to the left. And then a step to the right. With your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight …” When you think about it, it’s practically a line dance.
#4 I need to watch more movies.
JD & the Straight Shot have written and contributed songs (such as ‘Violet’s Song’) to number of soundtracks… for movies I’ve never seen (or in some cases heard of) but I really should have. Especially if there’s country soundtracks like August: Osage County.
#5 It IS possible to have a fun set without a drinking song in it.
Despite having a band name evocative of a certain Tennessee whiskey, they didn’t have a drinking song in their 20 song set. I don’t know how I feel about this. And I didn’t have any Jack Daniel’s on the night. I know exactly how I feel about this.
On the plus side, I’m perfectly sober when I advise that if you like blues-infused Americana with clever lyrics, sexy energy and more instruments than musicians, you should check out their new all-acoustic album Good Luck and Good Night.