Music News & Reviews

Legendary Shack Shakers return to Lexington at Cosmic Charlie's

Legendary Shack Shakers

10 p.m. April 25 at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $8. (859) 309-9499.

When The Dame first opened its doors on West Main Street seven years ago this weekend, one of the first national touring acts to hit its stage was the Legendary Shack Shakers.

In the years that followed, the Nashville band would become one of the club's most trusted bookings. The Dame debut also coincided with the release of the band's second album, Cockadoodledon't, and the club's growth and the Shack Shakers' popularity grew largely hand in hand.

The Dame, of course, is gone now, and the Shack Shakers — still with Paducah's J.D. Wilkes in front, performing like a dark, rural incarnation of Iggy Pop — have been absent from Lexington. The band's fan base has expanded, thanks to international tours as opening act for Robert Plant and others. But the Shack Shakers' mix of rockabilly drive, spiritual fire and dark country-roots inspiration hasn't resurfaced locally.

Last week, Wilkes and the band released its sixth and newest album, Agridustrial. The record's brand of often-frightening neo-goth cowpunk is measured out in songs like Dump Road Yodel, Sin Eater and The Hog Eyed Man. Wilkes will bring the music of Agridustrial to grim but loud life when he and the Shack Shakers finally return to Lexington for a concert Sunday at Cosmic Charlie's.

Give Into the Groove

9 p.m. April 23 at Buster's Billiards and Backroom, 899 Manchester St. Free. (859) 368-8871.

It's Give Into the Groove time again. Spearheaded by Los Angeles singer/songwriter ellee ven in 2001 as a strictly West Coast benefit, Give Into the Groove moved to Lexington, ven's second hometown, last year. But its designs remained the same: to present a benefit that doesn't pick your pockets.

The free event presents performances by a variety of dance-pop artists, electronica stylists and DJs but also provides contact information so patrons can support, and donate directly to, local organizations.

Performing with ven at this year's Get Into the Groove on Friday night at Buster's will be Linear Downfall, No Excuse, John Milstead, Giant Wow, Prodeje, the March Madness Marching Band and more. Among the benefiting organizations will be the Hope Center, the Lexington Humane Society, the Living Arts and Science Center, Chrysalis House, Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation, Planned Parenthood, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, Local First Lexington and the Town Branch Trail.

Doors open at 8 Friday night. For more information, go to


■ We last heard from Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist, better known to modern folk-pop legions as Over the Rhine, late last August. That's when the Cincinnati couple packed fans into every available free space at Natasha's Bistro for one of its most engaging and intimate Lexington shows. Understandably, Over the Rhine is opting for a larger place Saturday. It will make its debut at Buster's on a bill with fellow Cincinnati tribe Ellery. (9 p.m., $20.)

There is no new recording to promote this time around, although Detweiler wrote in a recent online journal entry that newer music is in the works and that "we would very much like to try out some of these new songs on you." Game? If so, doors open at 8 p.m. Saturday.

■ Lexington's Jazz Arts Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend with a Sunday afternoon celebration at Natasha's Bistro and Bar, 112 Esplanade. There will be performances by acclaimed jazz educator and saxophonist Jamey Aebersold and his quartet, and Lexingtonian-turned-New York violinist Zach Brock. (2 p.m., $10.) Proceeds will benefit the production fund for the monthly Jazz: Live at the Library series. (859) 273-5193.