Pete on listserv allows me to share this -
Jack Shit rocks the house!
Drove about 30 miles into the Santa Cruz
mountains to the hamlet of Felton (which
the band apparently thought was Santa
Cruz, much as EC always seems to think
Oakland is San Francisco), to the incredibly
appropriate "Don Quixote International
Music Hall." It's about as fancy as your average
church basement, lending it just the right
mix of cheesiness and good acoustics that does
justice to this band.
I was basically the first person there and thereby
took advantage of the $8 "in advance" tickets,
which must be the best bargain in live music
since I saw.... well, I did see the Beat-that-
must-not-be-called-English last week for free,
so ixnay on that angle. The band was already
set up and fooling around with the sound.
So every time I heard "Pete!" I looked around, but
of course it was not about me. I got to chat
up Pete's apparently British wife a bit about
buying J.S. CDs and the like. Ultimately a grand
total of no more than 30 people showed, making
the gate somewhere less than $250, assuming
there was a guest list. Good thing I got there early...
Fellow lister Steve showed up a few
minutes later and together we must have
quadrupled J.S. CD sales for the decade. Apparently
the CDs are not on a proper label, so get 'em
while they're hot at
Autographs were easy to come by and the
trio were a friendly lot. (Steve will be posting
Pete/Steve & the Imposters pics soon.)
The band is basically doing a rootsy bar-band
thing with lots of comedy (musical and verbal)
interspersed. I'm thinking it's along the lines
of Slo's heroes, The Beat Farmers, with Dave doing a fair lot
of that chunka-chunka Johnny Cash bass line. However,
they throw some rock and other stuff in so it never
Quasi set list, not complete or in order:
Hi How Are Ya?
Old Kentucky Home (traditional, apparently Randy
Christine's Tune (Devil in Disguise)
2 x 4
Long Black Veil (nice version!)
Louisiana (the Randy Newman tune, perhaps the
high mark of the show, with no joking at all btw)
Dangerous Crossing (with funny crossing charades,
Pete crossing his sticks)
Ugly and Slouchy (the song with the medley referred
Price of Love (see note below)
I'm Coming Home (seemed similar to the Ten Years After
Woodstock wank-out performance of "I'm Going Home")
Big Bird (the Jam tune, which may be
an old soul hit per Steve R.)
Somewhere mixed in was a hilarious
medley of: Green Eyed Lady/Spinning Wheel/
Jesus is Just Alright/Stairway to Heaven/And
When I Die.
The most EC aspect? That was Pete and Dave
basically doing the rhythm section of
"Pump It Up" during most or all of "The Price of Love."
Very effectively, I might add.
Most Beatlesesque moment? That was when Pete starts
singing "The Long and Winding Road"
before the band breaks into something that
sounds a *lot* like "Get Back," but is actually
something else (I can't remember what).
The thing that cannot be overemphasized
is how fucking funny Dave and Val McCallum
are. Much of it appeared to be improvised,
But of course You Had to Be There. A lot of it
seemed to be at Pete's expense.
(One tidbit: Val calls Dave "Shorty
Pastorius" after a bass solo....) Additionally,
both Dave and Val can sing pretty well --
Dave being particularly adept with the cheesy
falsettos -- while Pete, er, cannot. Oh, yeah,
Val can fucking play the guitar.
Anyway, if you have the chance, don't think
twice just go see 'em.
Oh yeah, add "Ring of Fire" to the set list.
With audience participation filling in the horn
parts at Pete's direction. Fun, fun, fun!
The real tragedy was that I had
to drink Miller Lite all night due to driving
responsiblities. The humanity.
I don't know if this a recent development, but each
member of the band has a "Shit" persona:
Val is "Beau" Shit (http://jackshit-theband.com/Val.html
Dave is "Shorty" Shit (http://jackshit-theband.com/Davey.html
Pete is "Peace o' " Shit (http://jackshit-theband.com/Pete.html
(Per Dave, sometimes crowds start
chanting "Piece o' Shit! Piece o' Shit!" etc.)
They hail from the mythical town of
Cochtotin' ("90 miles south of Bakersfield").
Much of the onstage shtick/banter is
based on this and their names, FWIW.
I think they could kill on Conan.
Also, FWIW, Dave looked a lot different up close
and in person: he lost a lot of hair evidently.
Pete, who so far finds the name "Patty Hurst
Shifter" to be better than their music
PS - probably duly noted elsewhere, but
JS is the backup for a recent Jackie Greene
album "American Myth" (4 stars at AMG FWIW,
http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/product. ... &pid=11493
You'll want to check this link out if only
for the Jackie Greene ringtones, my dogs.
Green has apparently been called