Jackyl (of Full Throttle Saloon)

It's been nearly 20 years since Jackyl shot out of Georgia with its wild, untamed and uncouth approach to rock 'n' roll. Equal parts hard rock, heavy metal and Southern rock, Jackyl formed in 1991 and brought back rock 'n' roll back -- back to its down-to-earth, wild, fun-loving origins. Full of spit and swagger -- and a "dirty" sense of humor to boot -- Jackyl quickly earned a deal with Geffen Records. Jackyl's live shows were already legendary before the ink dried on the Geffen contract.

The 1992 self-titled debut album went platinum and featured notable rock radio hits like "Down On Me," "When Will It Rain," "I Stand Alone" and, most notably, "The Lumberjack," during which vocalist Jesse James Dupree performed a chain-saw solo. Dupree's chain-saw escapades on album and in concert became one of many Jackyl trademarks. With the release of 'Jackyl' hit the road and barely left it since. Just long enough to record new albums. Touring mates in those early days included Aerosmith, Kiss, ZZ Top, Ted Nugent and Damn Yankees. 1993 saw "Mental *@%.!" featured on 'The Beavis & Butt-head Experience,' a compilation album of songs tied in with MTV's hit cartoon series; it was eventually certified triple platinum. 1994 was one of the most important years in the band's career. The second album, 'Push Comes To Shove,' hit the streets and went gold. That August, Jackyl turned in one of the most acclaimed performances at Woodstock '94 in Saugerties, NY, and the resulting double album 'Woodstock 94' went platinum and included "Headed For Destruction" (a track from 'Push Comes To Shove'). The live recording 'Night Of The Living Dead' was released exclusively in Europe on Mayhem Records in 1996.

It wasn't long before Jackyl followed A&R legend John Kalodner (who had signed them to Geffen) to Sony Music's imprint Epic Records. 'Cut the Crap' was released in 1997 and benefited from two industry heavyweights overseeing its recording: producer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica) and mixer Kevin Shirley (silverchair, Aerosmith). This album spawned the rock radio hit "Locked and Loaded," which included guest vocals by AC/DC's Brian Johnson. It was the first time Johnson had ever recorded with any artist but AC/DC since he joined the band 17 years earlier. A collection of B-sides titled 'Stayin' Alive' appeared on Shimmering Tone Records in 1998 but the biggest highlight of the year was Geffen's release of the best-of collection 'Choice Cuts' and the related promotional events Jackyl did to help promote it.

The band earned two Guinness Book of World Records citations and the designation "The Hardest Working Band in Rock 'N' Roll" for performing 100 shows in 50 days as well as 21 shows in 24 hours. Dupree says the most grueling of the two was 21 shows in 24 hours; Jackyl completed that task in Texas, and the shows were all done with full lights and sound. The daytime sets were 45 minutes long whereas the ones done at nighttime were between 90 and 120 minutes long. Jackyl released 'Relentless' on Humidity Records in 2002. It contained the second collaboration with Brian Johnson, "Kill the Sunshine." Universal Music/Geffen Records also issued a Jackyl volume as part of its acclaimed '20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection' best-of series in 2003. For a band that built its reputation as road warriors, it's surprising that a full-length live album meant for worldwide release did not appear until 2004 with the separate release of the 'Live at the Full Throttle Saloon' CD and DVD on Sanctuary Records. 'Live at the Full Throttle Saloon' was recorded and filmed in summer 2003 in Sturgis, South Dakota, as part of the legendary annual biker rally festivities held there.

Staying true to their working band roots, 2008 and 2009 saw Jackyl on the road playing the summer festival circuit. The band is currently in the studio completing a 2010 release titled “My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass.”

Stolen Rhodes

Most bands have an amusing anecdote to tell whenever someone asks them about their name. In the case of Philadelphia quartet Stolen Rhodes, they have two.

"We had a Rhodes keyboard that was stolen from our singer earlier in his music career," explains Kevin Cunningham, the band's lead guitarist. And the other story? "The band may have commandeered a Rhodes at some point from an undisclosed location," he sheepishly admits.

Take another look at that last sentence: the band sought to reacquire a Rhodes piano, a keyboard that's been out of fashion for nearly three decades. The band's name isn't just a funny story – it's a battle cry.

"The music of the past is what spoke to us the loudest," explains Cunningham. "It is music you can feel, timeless music, songs that people react to in any generation. It's less like a yearbook of a certain point in time and more like a National Geographic magazine. It's good no matter when you hear it."

Of course, you would expect a response like that from a band whose principal songwriters, singer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Pillion and bassist/guitarist Dan Haase, grew up a stone's throw away from Bruce Springsteen's adopted hometown of Asbury Park. It's not like they really had a choice in the matter; "The classic Asbury sound was in the water," Cunningham jokes.

The Boss' influence proves to be more spiritual than literal, however, on Falling off the Edge, Stolen Rhodes' debut album. If anything, the ghost of the Allman Brothers looms the largest, particularly in the mile-wide chorus of "Blue Sky" and the easy-like-Sunday-morning "Freight Train." (Speaking of "Easy," the band's track "Beautiful Way" sounds like the Allmans taking a crack at that very Commodores song.) Pillion takes no vocal cues from the Southern rock gods, though; his raspy tenor is bound to draw (lazy) comparisons to Kings of Leon's Caleb Followill, but one listen to the horn-kissed "One Day Everyday" and it's clear that Free-era Paul Rodgers is a better starting point.

At least for the moment, anyway. While they may currently take their inspiration from an earlier time, Stolen Rhodes has no interest in carving out a career as a classic rock tribute band. For them, the writing process is nonstop and constantly evolving. "It changes daily," Cunningham says. "We are all students of music, so we are all bringing in our own personal tastes that we continue to discover to expand our sound." One aspect of the band's personality that seems unlikely to change, though, is their love of playing live. Indeed, for each day they spend writing new material, they spend five days practicing for that weekend's gig, and that passion for performing can be felt throughout Falling off the Edge. With each track clocking in at a minimum of five minutes, this is a band that loves to let their songs breathe, and are not afraid to go wherever the moment takes them.

Their hard work has thus far paid off in the form of a dedicated – and diverse – live following, and also earned them the respect of veteran acts from opposite ends of the music spectrum (punk rockers Dropkick Murphys and country act Diamond Rio have both sung the band's praises), and while Stolen Rhodes is grateful for the regional success they've attained, they have their eyes on a larger prize. Falling off the Edge, they hope, will serve as their calling card to the national stage

$16 - $20

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Jackyl (of Full Throttle Saloon) with Stolen Rhodes

Friday, July 26 · Doors 9:00 PM / Show 9:30 PM at The Blockley