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The Legendary Shackshakers
Alternative Folk


Even a label that goes by the slogan "the home of insurgent country" pushes their boundaries for these gonzo, stripped down rockabilly blues folks. With horror movie vocals by frontman "Colonel" J.D Wilkes straight out of the Lux Interior school, and a hard-core, ragged combination of frayed blues, twisted bluegrass and ornery swamp, this is a full frontal assault that doesn't let up until the whole thing collapses after just over a half hour. Their frantic, heart pounding attack on the blues standard ""Bullfrog Blues" with Wilkes' over driven harmonica and ear-wincing screams is enough to scare most blues fans off and a similar take on their own ""Devil's Night Auction" with manic Jews Harp and carnival accordion will do the same for mountain music lovers. Originals such as ""Help Me from My Brain" and ""Blood on the Bluegrass" accurately indicate their inspiration. JD also blows serious harp on ""CB Song," a track that could easily slot on a Southern Culture on the Skids album. And covering fringe rockabilly raver Benny Joy's ""Wild Wild Lover" --a tune also done by the Flat Duo Jets and the A Bones-- gives you an idea of this band's influences. In this context, their hopped up garage-blues take on Slim Harpo's ""Shake Your Hips" sounds tame in comparison. The music is fun, frantic and nerve wracking, just the way they want it. The Bloodshot reissue adds an extra track, ""Hunkerdown," that fuels more Cramps styled flavor to their approach. Hal Horowitz

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