SideOneDummy Records). This new disc is a logical follow-up to The Dead Peasants’ 2010 self-titled debut and Shiflett continues to mine his longtime appreciation of classic country artists (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams) and rockabilly (Gene Vincent, Elvis, Eddie Cochran).
On The Dead Peasants’ debut disc, Shiflett wrote all the songs aside for a Joe Strummer cover. This time out, there is just one original and the other nine songs are classic honky-tonk covers. The band attacks these covers with an enthusiasm and barnstorming swagger that gives these reinterpretations an authenticity that other alt-country/root-rock bands have lacked.
Shiflett was inspired with the idea to learn an abundance of old school honky-tonk songs, and then hit the road as a cover band, while touring with Foo Fighters around their last album. After arriving back home, the Dead Peasants reconvened and spent months rehearsing before playing shows all through spring and summer 2012. Wanting to capture the spirit of these performances, the band headed into Studio 606 in Los Angeles to track a selection of Shiflett’s favorites from their live set. The band recorded All Hat and No Cattle live and all together in one room, with only vocals overdubbed.
The disc starts with country-rocker “Guitar Pickin’ Man” and moves from there to the Carl Perkins-style honky-tonk of “Good Time Charlie’s". Shiflett slows things toward the middle of the disc with bluesy torch song “Happy Part Of Town” but this number is just a brief respite before he cranks the tempo back up. The disc ends with two of the bigger “rock” numbers: the original track “A Woman Like You” is a power-pop number is the vein of Rockpile or The Plimsouls and the disc closer, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” is a boot-stomping Waylon Jennings cover.
All Hat and No Cattle track listing:
1. Guitar Pickin’ Man (Don Rich and the Buckaroos)
2. Good Time Charlie’s (Del Reeves)
3. Pop A Top (Jim Ed Brown)
4. Happy Part Of Town (Wynn Stewart)
5. Skid Row (Merle Haggard)
6. Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young (Faron Young)
7. Playboy (Wynn Stewart)
8. King Of Fools (Buck Owens)
9. A Woman Like You (ORIGINAL)
10. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way? (Waylon Jennings)
Chris Shiflett and The Dead Peasants will take these songs back on the road for more shows this summer, having recently performed at the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, CA and at SXSW in Austin, TX. Currently, there are a small handful of California shows scheduled for early next month.
Aug 6 - San Diego at The Casbah
Aug 7 - Fresno at Strummers
Aug 8 - San Francisco at Thee Parkside
Aug 10 - San Luis Obispo at SLO Brew Co
Aug 11 - Long Beach at Alex’s Bar
*Rod Melancon supporting on all dates.
Chris Shiflett and The Dead Peasants