When: Fri., April 1, 10 p.m. 2011
To hell with South Beach, thought Jon Ackley, when he left Madison, Wi., a couple years ago. The Slingshot Cash frontman took his talents to the Triangle for the weather and the music scene. He reconvened his band with a new lineup and remodeled sound. "The other version was more straight-up alt-country, and this has stuff like The Band and early '70s Stones in it," Ackley says.
The title of their new album, From Aftermath to Exile, suggests a Stones retrospective, but with its ass-dragging twang and Ackley's parched, craggy drawl, it's more like Ramblin' Jack Elliott turning into Hank Sr. Ackley began recording last summer by revisiting tracks from the band's debut, names + drugs. He became so excited by what he was writing that all but two of the record's 11 tracks are new material. One of the holdovers, "Causeway," was originally an indie rock song before Ackley countrified it.
"It was originally about my frustration with the indie rock scene and hipsters," he says. "I added a third verse that made it about playing music in general since I'm not a young guy anymore."
But he still likes a party, an idea that informs the album. "It has a druggy vibe because a bunch of the songs are about addicts, drinking and the attendant problems of people who do that," he says. "We know it's bad for us but we keep going back." —Chris Parker