Dex Romweber / JD Wilkes / Robert Rolffe Fedderson
Sun, Sep 18, 2016 @ 8:00 pm to 2:00amView event on Facebook
Dex Romweber: BORN THE 7th SON OF A COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER in 1966, Dex Romweber has grown up to become nothing less than an icon of the American music underground.
Former frontman for the world famous psycho-surf-rockabilly-garage-punk combo Flat Duo Jets, Dexter released his first of seventeen albums in 1990 to rave reviews worldwide. He starred alongside R.E.M. and The B-52s in the 1987 cult classic film Athens, Ga. Inside Out. His first national tour in 1990 was as opening act for The Cramps. He was showcased on MTV’s The Cutting Edge and 120 Minutes, appeared with the Flat Duo Jets in videos such as “Wild Wild Lover” and “Radioactive Man”, made a stunning performance on Late Night with David Letterman, and has shared the stage with dozens of rock’s underground kings including Iggy Pop, the White Stripes, Link Wray, Reverend Horton Heat and many, many others.
“Dexter Romweber was and is a huge influence on my music. I owned all of his records as a teenager, and was thrilled at the fact that we were able to play together recently on tour. His attitude towards music is remarkable. And his songwriting, along with his love of classic American music from the south, be it rockabilly, country or R&B, is one of the best kept secrets of the rock n roll underground.”
— Jack White (White Stripes)
JD Wilkes is an American musician, visual artist, author, filmmaker and self-proclaimed “southern surrealist”. He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (notably on harmonica and banjo), having recorded with such artists as Merle Haggard, John Carter Cash, Mike Patton, and Hank Williams III. Wilkes’ latest solo album Cattle in the Cane (Arkam Records, January 2015) includes his own renditions of traditional tunes (mostly old-time mountain music), with performances by elder Kentucky fiddler Charlie Stamper (the brother of Art Stamper) on many of the tracks. In the last two years, Wilkes has continued to develop his solo project, having toured with Charlie Parr and The Tillers, as well as performing at the 2015 Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Wilkes is perhaps best known as the founder of the Legendary Shack Shakers, a Southern Gothic rock and blues band formed in the mid 90s. Fans of his work with Legendary Shack Shakers include Stephen King, Robert Plant and former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra. Rolling Stone named Wilkes as the “best frontman” at the 2015 Americana Music Association Festival for his performance with the band. Regarding the group’s “southern gothic” lyricism, Billboard Magazine said “[Wilkes writes] mind-blowing lyrics rife with Biblical references and ruminations of life, death, sin and redemption.” Legendary Shack Shakers have toured with the likes of Robert Plant and The Black Keys, among others. Their music has been featured in HBO’s True Blood series, and in a long-running Geico commercial.
JD Wilkes has been compared to iconoclasts like David Byrne, Iggy Pop, or Jerry Lee Lewis, and with his small, wiry frame and intense, incandescent performances, it’s not hard to see why. But while he plays the carnival barker onstage, he’s a dedicated lifelong student of true Southern culture. Master banjo player Dom Flemons said, “JD is a real old-Kentucky banjo player and he can take that to the bank! I gotta watch out next time I see his banjo.” A resident of Paducah, Kentucky, Wilkes is a Kentucky Colonel, an honorable title bestowed by the state’s Governor upon those with a connection to, or who are famous residents of the state of Kentucky. In 2015, Wilkes was featured on the BBC original series Songs of the South, in an episode focusing on the musical history of Tennessee and Kentucky.
Aside from his prolific career in music, Wilkes is also a published writer, having recently authored the book Barn Dances and Jamborees Across Kentucky, an exploration of his state’s social music and dance history based on extensive fieldwork and research. A true Southern Renaissance man, Wilkes is also an accomplished visual artist (specializing in comics, sideshow banners and book illustrations) as well as a documentary filmmaker (his documentary Seven Signs explores “music, myths, and the American South” and was screened at the UK’s prestigious Raindance Film Festival).
Robert Rolfe Feddersen is a singer/songwriter from Crown Point, IN. On his latest record “American Loser” (recorded by Steve Albini) Robert tackles the struggles of the working class. Never one to shy away from his true feelings in song, the title track speaks what most of us feel in tough and uncertain times. Robert, formerly the frontman of well-known mid-90s band LOUDMOUTH, is a Gold Selling artist penning the hit song “Fly” for the film Varsity Blues. Songs from his six album solo catalog have appeared in numerous films and television shows. An emerging voice in Americana/Folk-Rock.