It’s not hard to see Damon and the Sh!tkickers live in Savannah. They offer up their local brand of outlaw country regularly at The Jinx, and seem to end up somewhere on the weekly soundboard more often than not.
The word “outlaw” implies some sort of rebellion, and for the ‘Kickers, they rebel first and foremost against the twangy pop that seems to pass for country these days. When looking at their main influences, one has to go back decades to Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard.
The band’s original songs cover some familiar country-western territory with whiskey, heartache and more whiskey. They leave these influences behind, however, with a few modern vices thrown in the mix (pills instead of booze) and the 21st-century dating scene instead of the more formal courtship of mid-century America.
They’re similarly modern instrumentally, trading in acoustic guitars for electric, and their arrangements come across as more refined than anything recorded in the heyday of their musical idols.
Still, nostalgia is the word — or lyric — of the day. They’re more interested in celebrating their genre than in advancing it. That’s a good thing for fans of country. A live show is sure to serve up a heap of songs that are both new and familiar at the same time.