The Donkeys w/ Jessica Lee Wilkes
Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 9:30 PM @ Star Bar
Doors open at 9:00
Tickets are $10
Online, phone and outlet sales end at 4:00pm on the day of the show.
For more information visit: www.starbaratlanta.com
California places a distinct sonic stamp upon the music born with in its boundaries. Owens had his Bakersfield, Parsons his Joshua Tree, and Malkmus his Stockton, and in their tunes you can hear dust, desert highways, and skateboards gliding over suburbia. The Donkeys have San Diego, and from that environment have woven a fundamental ease in their music - a rock, a roll, a sway, a slide - you could even call it a breeze. On Ride the Black Wave, The Donkeys continue their easy rolling, classic vibrations, but add a mystery and tension that make this record their most lyrically and instrumentally compelling.
Ride the Black Wave embodies what Jack Kerouac described of California's coast as having an "end of the land sadness." The Donkeys stare out at the ocean in a "fantastic drowse" - a kind of pensiveness towards their environs that summons the elements of sound and style that belong only to them. In "Blues In The Afternoon", a collective mantra, the band runs out of land and asks of the ocean to offer suggestions about their fate. It is songs like these that prove the Donkeys are a band in the true sense of the word, sharing each other's worry and wonder. With RTBW, The Donkeys have further caged their craft and have accomplished the delicate and artful challenge of taming the captured, while also letting it be wild.
Recorded at San Diego's Singing Serpent and mixed by LA’s Thom Monahan, the Telecasters have a golden shimmer, the drums seem to echo with a regional reverberation. The notes coming off the Rhodes float on like beer-buzzed afternoons, but just when you get lost in the hypnotic swirl of "Sunny Daze" the churning guitars begin to circle like sharks, reminding us of the realities beneath all beautiful surfaces. Ten tracks deep, Adrianne Verhoeven of San Francisco's Extra Classic appears like the mythic Calafia herself, delivering a vocal that would bring Cortez to his knees.
So, it is with Ride the Black Wave that The Donkeys add their own stratum to California's ever expanding musical frontier, while maintaining their golden "shine" as well as interjecting a tension with the sun and beauty. The record hypnotizes as much as it awakens; it poetically puts us at ease while we sit in traffic, peck at our keyboards in cubicles, or conversely, it accompanies us as we ride along desert highways, or sway with our lovers. It is about home; it is about waves, and surrendering to their movements, trusting that they will take us to where we truly belong.
Jessica Lee Wilkes
Jessica Lee Wilkes is no stranger to the spotlight. Her upcoming release Lone Wolf (Free Dirt Records) may be her debut album, but for the past five years she’s been a key member of the JD Wilkes & The Dirt Daubers, penning songs, sharing lead vocal duties, and playing a critical role in furthering the groove and swagger the band is known for via her dynamic stage presence and skills on upright bass.
But with Lone Wolf, Jessica Lee Wilkes trades in her upright for an electric bass, and takes over center stage; her empowering aura and skillful musicianship continue, leaving no question of her rightful place as a commanding front woman. The five song EP takes Jessica's raw rock ‘n roll edge to new heights and scorches you with the fire of a fearless femme fatale. Hearkening back to classic 50s rock ‘n roll and rhythm and blues, Jessica injects these forms with an energy and vigor that shake the dust off a classic sound. Complete with swinging brass parts, surf-inspired guitar licks, and punchy handclaps, Lone Wolf is an infectiously timeless record.
Based in Paducah, KY, Jessica has won over many a famous fan throughout her musical career, including rock legend Wanda Jackson, Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys, along with JD McPherson and his band; in fact, Jason Smay, drummer in McPherson's band, recorded drums on Lone Wolf, while guitar parts were provided by celebrated rockabilly guitarist Eddie Angel of Los Straitjackets.
2015 marks a new chapter in Jessica's music career, with Lone Wolf set to release this Summer, and Jessica hitting the road and her touring band (Preston Corn on drums, Wyatt Maxwell on guitar) to tour the USA this Spring and Summer, including sets at Rhythm N’ Blooms and Lowertown Music & Arts Festival.
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