REVIEW: The Legendary Shack Shakers “After You’ve Gone”


The Legendary Shack Shakers’ new release, After You’ve Gone (Last Chance), was produced by J.D Wilkes and Rod Hamdallah. This album was recorded, engineered and mastered by Kristopher Sampson at Sampson Sound Studio in Atlanta. The production on the album will strike your soul like a bolt of lightning with its old-timey raw quality. The album was made to be vinyl; maybe even an old 78 rpm vinyl with a contemporary southern gothic rock vibe.


The Legendary Shack Shakers’ music is always exciting with their uplifting yet macabre rockabilly swing sound, and they back it with the uberperformance skills to support it all. Frontman J.D. Wilkes is notoriously multitalented with talents in painting and writing to boot.


The album opens with some real early rock and roll sound quality reminiscent of 1970s, evocative of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, or Cream. Then, true to form, the album’s namesake, “After You’ve Gone,” is a combination punk rock, old-timey piano and trumpet, sad breakup song extravaganza. The lyrics are always startling and complex, with lines out of the blue like “he’s a wampus cat” on “War Whoop,” and twistedly rhyming “the blood that imprints on your retina” with “threaten-uh” on “White Devil.” The exuberant freneticism continues unabated, the lyrics leading the way with “Lord I wish I was a “Single Boy” again,” and yessir, we really believe he does.


“Sing a Worried Song” is just a super cool, mad, wonderful, likeable fun song all around. It’s the kind of song guaranteed to hook new fans. While you’re loving it, check out its video; it features some great cinematography and a cameo by the band’s compadre, Jimbo Mathus of the Squirrel Nut Zippers.


“Long Legs” continues the pace to command your attention. Tom Thumb spoils us with some ragtime piano on “Silent Key,” and we believe right then and there that the ghost of Scott Joplin has come to lend a hand in the laboratory of sound. “Frankenstein’s Monster” is more ominous, connoting ghoulish cobwebbed workshops. All of the songs deliver the very best of this outrageously celebratory music style.


The album gives you a lucky 13 takes and is a real whirlwind of delight from start to finish.


Check out the video of “Sing a Worried Song”, featuring Jimbo Mathus, here:


Buy your copy of “After You’ve Gone”, here:'veGoneCover

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