Chris Shifflet and the Dead Peasents
The starting point for the new release from Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants, All Hat and No Cattle, is the belief that in order to truly understand a style of music, total immersion is required. The origins of this album, which features covers of nine old-school honky-tonk songs and one original, are simple enough.
While touring around Foo Fighters’ album Wasting Light, lead guitarist Shiflett was struck with an idea for his other band, The Dead Peasants: to tour as a cover band after learning as many classic honky-tonk songs as they could master. As a musician raised on a steady diet of AC/DC and KISS, who’s also a longtime fan of quintessential country and rockabilly artists like Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Johnny Burnette, the notion was rooted in a mix of reverence and revelry. Once he arrived home, the band got together and spent months rehearsing a set before performing a slew of shows through spring and summer 2012. All Hat and No Cattle is a selection of Shiflett’s favorites from those shows, timeless songs like Waylon Jennings’ “I Don’t Think Hank Done It This Way” and Owens’ “King Of Fools.”
Together with Shiflett on vocals and guitar, The Dead Peasants are Jeff Gross (bass) and Luke Tierney (guitar) – three friends who grew up playing in bands together – as well as Mitch Marine (drums), Marty Rifkin (pedal steel), and Derek Silverman (keyboards). Most of them also toured with Shiflett around the group’s 2010 self-titled debut, which introduced his skill in writing understated, infectious good ol’ Americana-laced rock songs. They recorded All Hat and No Cattle live and together in one room at Studio 606 in Los Angeles, CA, with only vocals overdubbed.