Th' Legendary Shack Shakers - Believe

A colourful conglomeration of nimble New York C & W, folk, blues, rock, punk and funk with an eccentric element that is illuminated by front man and blues harpist Col. J.D. Wilkes, effectively grabs hold of the Scissor Sisters and says “look, you can be eccentric, deep and fun, without being clichéd and grating so pull yourselves together!” A  friendly opening is produced in ‘Agony Wagon’ that has a Spanish siesta style intro, giving the Col’s outfit a cultured touch before turning into a good old fashioned C & W romp. The spirit of this ebullient outfit and their diversity is on full show in; ‘Where's The Devil When You Need Him?’. This song is the epitome of the rock n roll spirit, as well as possessing some satirically satanic humour, with the finishing touch being a marching drum beat that drives you onto the dance floor.

‘Believe’ represents the Shack's third full length album, but their debut on Yep Roc Records and this seems to be a spring board for their vitality, with the guys showing added confidence in the daring sound that they skilfully produce. Their eccentricity and playful spirit reaches its summit in the whacky ‘Cussin’ In Tongues’ that contains frantic instrumentals and obscure Bob Log111 style vocals, but the distorted rooster sounds scattered within win the noise of the day award.

The guys slow down and take on a thoughtful guise in ‘The Pony To Bet On’ that laments the ravages of time. Variety is provided by the inclusion corking cover of the Sonny Boy Williamson/Willie Dixon bold blues number; ‘Help Me’, whereby an appreciation of a variety of music is illuminated and, indeed; illuminating. Thus highlighting that there is no nook or cranny that Col. J.D. Wilkes and company won't scour in their quest to seek out and produce entertaining material.

David Adair

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