By Rick Coates
Jackyl is arguably the hardest working band in rock and roll. They hold two Guinness Book of World Records, one for playing 100 concerts in 50 days and another for performing 21 concerts in a 24-hour period. The band is most infamous for their chainsaw wielding frontman Jesse James Dupree.
The band makes no apologies for their controversial shows, because as Dupree says: That aint the rock and roll way, you dont apologize.
The band will make their way to the Ground Zero Nightclub on Friday as they kick off their new tour. Joining them will be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member DMC of Run DMC fame.
START TO WONDER
Jackyl made news headlines earlier this year with the release of their new single Just Like A Negro. Dupree and DMC (who is African American) both agreed that some people jumped to conclusions including DMC.
When I first heard the title I was like, whoa, what is this about? And then you look and see that the band is a bunch of white guys with southern accents and you really start to wonder, said DMC.
But when you listen to the lyrics you realize this is a very powerful song with deep meaning. This is the type of song that breaks down barriers.
The idea for the song came as a result of a side project that Jesse James Dupree was working on.
Just Like A Negro evolved for us over several years. The song was originally done by this awesome band, Mothers Finest, one of the founders of the funk rock movement. Well, I started a side project with these three black guys and some of the Jackyl guys heard us do this song and thought we should do it, said Dupree. Well we did, starting about six years ago and the fans loved it. Now in order for me to sing this song I had to adapt it to me. Well then DMC jumped on board and we adapted the song for him to be a part of it, so this song has had four lives.
So why all the controversy?
Well, look, I have a very simple message to anyone who wants to pass a quick judgement or short change it for what it naturally is -- they can kiss my ass, said Dupree.
Dupree met DMC by chance.
He was using my studio and my son came and got me and said, Dad, DMC is in the studio -- you have got to meet him. So I did and we hit it off and exchanged phone numbers, said Dupree. When he heard Just Like A Negro he asked to perform on the video and one thing led to another and he is out touring with us. He performs all sorts of songs with us -- Its Tricky, Walk This Way, and lots of our songs. Hes like another member of Jackyl.
DMC is having the time of his life touring with Jackyl.
Jesse is one of the best vocalists I have ever heard, said DMC. Equally impressive is that Jackyl is one talented bunch of musicians. We are having a lot of fun.
As for any further controversy over the song with DMCs endorsement, the band is not concerned; but then they are never really concerned what people think about their music. When Kmart announced 12 years ago that they would not sell Jackyls CD because of some of the songs, the group staged an impromptu concert in a Kmart parking lot.
Listen, I am not Bono and Jackyl doesnt aspire to be U2. I will leave saving the world to those guys. They are a great band and I respect them, said Dupree. But look, when they interviewed the kids back in the 50s about what they liked about rock and roll not one of them said it was going to save the world and bring about world peace. What they liked about the music was it made them crazy; it got the glands pumping and got them to move into the oversized backseats of the cars back then.
Okay, so what is Jackyls philosophy on making rock and roll?
Jackyl is built on the fundamentals of rock and roll which is guitar, bass, drums, attitude and a kick drum that will stimulate your glands. Now if you are into a band that has a song that is going to save the world or a band that has a pan flute in it, that is great, said Dupree. But do not diminish or short change my brand of rock and roll and anybody that wants to be judgmental about what we do or who we are are the same people who wont admit that they masturbate and they can kiss my ass.
Besides keeping busy touring, Jackyl is a part of the reality show, Full Throttle about running the worlds largest biker bar located at Sturgis in North Dakota. They are out touring in support of their new album When Dynamite & Moonshine Collide, featuring Just Like A Negro, and My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaines Ass.
Dupree and his band mates kick their tour off on Thanksgiving Day in Louisville and say they cant wait to get to Michigan.
We love Michigan -- it is our second home, said Dupree. The answer to the question you havent asked yet is yes. Yes I have the chainsaw packed and we are ready to rock the asses off Northern Michigan.
Jackyl with DMC performs Friday November 26 at Ground Zero Night Club in TC. They will perform several Run DMC hits along with Jackyls hits Down On Me and their signature Lumberjack Song. For tickets go to www.groundzeroonline.com or call the box office at 231-932-1930.
Uncle Kracker Too
By Rick Coates
Uncle Kräcker is taking a break from his tour to have Thanksgiving at home with his family in Michigan, but playing Traverse City is also part of that weekend tradition. He will perform Saturday, November 27 at Ground Zero Nightclub. I guess it is a tradition, isnt it? said Kracker. I love Northern Michigan. I have a place up north and we shot the Smile video in Hale. This show in Traverse City is something I always look forward to.
Kracker is winding down his tour in 2011, after which he will join the NFL -- sort of.
I have this really cool tour next spring and summer with Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band, said Kracker. We are doing a stadium tour playing all of these NFL stadiums, including Cowboys Stadium, Lambeau Field, and I finish the tour with them in August at Ford Field.
Past Traverse City Kracker shows have sold out quickly as his popularity grows in the country and adult contemporary markets. There is no telling how much longer Uncle Kracker will play small intimate venues. Ty Stone and John Smiddy & The Randy Vandals will open. For tickets and additional information go to www.groundzeroonline.com or call 231-932-1930.