On Saturday, June 1, the infamous Woodbox Gang will perform an already sold-out show with the Whistl
On Saturday, June 1, the infamous Woodbox Gang will perform an already sold-out show with the Whistle Pigs at the Liberty Theater in Murphysboro.
The Hangar 9, however, is hosting an afterparty with Town Mountain and the Whistle Pigs. Those who do not already have tickets for the Liberty show can attend the afterparty.
Most readers already know the legend of the Woodbox Gang, Southern Illinois’s premier trashcan-Americana band-- frontman and guitarist Hugh DeNeal and multi-instrumentalists Alex Kirt, Greg Edwards, and Dan Goett. The Woodbox Gang and the Whistle Pigs truly put Southern Illinois on the map for keeping new American folk music alive and well.
“We feel very fortunate to be able to put on shows at the Liberty Theater and Shryock Auditorium and for them to be successful,” DeNeal tells Nightlife. “It is an incredible feeling, and I like to believe the crowd is able to celebrate with us in a sense of collective accomplishment. For this Liberty Theater show, we’ve been working on quite a few of the newer songs from the album Glorious Scars that we released last fall, also several tunes from the vault that we didn’t play all that often in the later years. Going through the back catalog, there is so much stuff that we just don’t have time to play in a show. It has been really enjoyable for us all to get reacquainted with the tunes from previous albums. Ron Coulter has been playing drums with us, and he is a pro.”
The Woodbox Gang are pretty much exclusive to Southern Illinois at the moment, as band members are active in many other successful So Ill groups, have family obligations, and so forth. They already have their next show scheduled, however: Saturday, September 7 at Shryock Auditorium as headliners for the CarbondaleRocks Revival festival. Tickets go on sale Monday, June 3 through Southern Tickets Online. (For details, see this week’s Music Notes section.)
“We are excited as well to be playing again this fall at Shryock for the CarbondaleRocks Revival,” DeNeal says. “I wouldn’t say it is weird to be exclusive to Southern Illinois for the moment as we have no other choice right now. We are having a good time, and music is still happening, None of us regret traversing the country in a van and playing night after night, but we are enjoying our good fortune that we don’t have to live that lifestyle in order to perform for our fans. We’re having a really good time, and there is no telling what the future might hold and what the situation could be musically down the road. I spent a long time not feeling very good about the present day, but it is pretty excellent lately.”
DeNeal was recently mentioned in the last verse of the song “John Dillinger” on Jello Biafra and the Guantánamo School of Medicine’s new album White People and the Damage Done. Biafra called the Woodbox Gang’s Alex Kirt to make sure it was okay.
“I said it was fine and flattering,” DeNeal says. “As fans of the Dead Kennedys for many years, it is a remarkable and surreal feeling.”
Town Mountain will make their Southern Illinois debut at the afterparty, playing two sets between a Whistle Pigs show.
“Our sound is a combination between old and new string-band music,” Town Mountain’s Jesse Langlais tells Nightlife. “To a traditional-music lover we may lean towards the progressive side of things, but to a progressive-music lover we may sound traditional. We have the ability to ride that fence and give each audience a bit of what they want to hear. We focus on mostly original music written by members of the band. This adds a modern touch to an older sound. The band also has a very outlaw-country sound set in a bluegrass format, which also gives folks something else to dig into.”
Town Mountain has just released their fourth full-length album, Leave the Bottle. It features talented contributors like producer Mike Bub of the Del McCoury Band and engineer Scott Vestal of the Sam Bush Band.
“Leave the Bottle has been our most successful release thus far,” Langlais says. “It has twelve songs on it, eleven of which are original, written by members of the band. The one cover song is a Wood Brothers song. We ran into them at a festival last year and gave them a copy. We received a couple of emails from them telling us how much they liked our representation. That was a huge compliment. The album got picked up by SiriusXM and now gets played on the bluegrass station, and someone told me recently they heard it on Outlaw Country.”
Find out more at <http://TownMountain.net>.
who: Woodbox Gang / Whistle Pigs / Town Mountain
what: trashcan Americana, hillbilly music, newgrass
where: Liberty Theater; Hangar 9
when: Saturday, June 1