CHRIS WELCH AND THE CICADA KILLERS | SHOOK | GOLIAD MEDIA GROUP | FEB. 22ND, 2019
Denton, Texas is the home of Chris Welch and The Cicada Killers, introduced as the “fabulous Cicada Killers” on “Cicada Sweat,” the James Brown-inspired opening track of Shook, the north Texas band’s upcoming sophomore album, which follows-up its 2017 debut Faded & Frayed.
The pronouncement is the only vocal on the song, an improvisational moment that the band loved and kept, but it’s all that’s needed: The Cicada Killers’ unique brand of soul, shimmy, and shake speaks for itself.
Launching next into “Want You Back,” it’s clear that Welch’s influences aren’t rooted only in Redding, he also brings plenty of Alex Chilton, and even The Replacements’ “Alex Chilton” to the party, fronting an indie-rock rave-up sound with the lived-in voice of a guy who went to one-too-many parties.
Dallas-based blog Ghost of Blind Lemon offers this take: “Welch straddles the line between country and soul in a similar vein to how Mr. Orbison did it.”
Along with Welch (vocals, guitars), The Cicada Killers includes Patrick Newkirk (Lead Guitar), Clint Sawyer (Drums), Kelly Evans (Vocals, Saxophone), Holly Manning (Vocals, Strings, Keys), and Dave Huff (Bass). Additional influences on the band include the Stax and Hitsville label rosters, along with Kris Kristofferson, Lou Reed, and Afghan Whigs.
Welch’s decade-long stint as front man of Dallas-based alt-country band Pinebox Serenade, which released four albums during its run, is the cred justifying the fusion of the many disparate influences on Shook’s sound.
Welch doesn’t stand on his own paid dues alone, however. Unlike the band’s debut album, The Cicada Killers approached the songwriting on Shook as a fully collaborative effort, recording in a marathon five-day session in early 2018 at Cool Devices Studio with Jeff Burke and Mark Ryan of legendary pop-punk band The Marked Men.
Five days to make an album could have been a luxury, as the band is used to grinding it out. An early album track, “Shoenapper” details one of those bleary-eyed road stories, in fact.
As Evans explains, “Maybe we’d imbibed just a bit too much, but the day that we came up with this song was a little rough. We had to get back to Denton that morning, and our bass player (Huff) headed out early, only to discover when he was stopped for gas that he wasn’t wearing his own shoes. He’d stolen our drummer’s (Sawyer) shoes! We gave him a hard time for that one and this song was born.”
The comedic music video for “Shoenapper” is already circulating, and the first official single from Shook – one of the band’s favorite tracks, “Borrowed Repertoire,” will be also be accompanied by a fun and campy clip. It’s something to be expected from The (“fabulous”) Cicada Killers.
Shook by Chris Welch and The Cicada Killers arrives on Feb. 22, 2019 preceded by the single and music video “Borrowed Repertoire”.
04/27/2019: Norman, OK @ Norman Music Festival
05/05/2019: Denton, TX @ Andy's Bar
06/02/2019: Denton, TX @ Dan's Silverleaf
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06/15/2019: Denton, TX @ Dan's Silverleaf
07/05/2019: Denton, TX @ Harvest House
07/19/2019: Tulsa, OK @ Mercury Lounge
08/01/2019: Bryan, TX @ Revolution Cafe and Bar
08/02/2019: Brenham, TX @ Home Sweet Farm Biergarten
10/05/2019: Arlington, TX @ Division Brewing