NEPA Scene Staff

Southern hard rockers Jackyl return to Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on May 29

Southern hard rockers Jackyl return to Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on May 29
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From a press release:

It was announced today that platinum-selling Southern hard rock band Jackyl, known for their wild live shows and chainsaw solos, will return to Penn’s Peak on Friday, May 29 at 8 p.m.

The band performed at the Jim Thorpe venue on March 7 last year, wielding that trademark chainsaw on stage during their best-known song, “The Lumberjack.”

Tickets, which are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the show, go on sale next Friday, March 6 at 10 a.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Penn’s Peak box office (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe), and Roadies Restaurant and Bar (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe). Penn’s Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant ticket sales are walk-up only; no phone orders.

It’s been nearly 30 years since Jackyl shot out of Georgia with its wild, untamed, and uncouth approach to rock ‘n’ roll. Equal parts hard rock, heavy metal, and Southern rock, Jackyl formed in 1991 and brought back rock ‘n’ roll back — back to its down-to-earth, wild, fun-loving origins. Full of spit and swagger – and a “dirty” sense of humor to boot – Jackyl quickly earned a deal with Geffen Records. Their live shows were already legendary before the ink dried on the Geffen contract.

The 1992 self-titled debut album went platinum and featured notable rock radio hits like “Down on Me,” “When Will It Rain,” “I Stand Alone” and, most notably, “The Lumberjack,” during which vocalist Jesse James Dupree performed a chainsaw solo. Dupree’s chainsaw escapades on album and in concert became one of many Jackyl trademarks.

With the release of “Jackyl,” they hit the road and barely left it since – just long enough to record new albums. Touring mates in those early days included Aerosmith, KISS, ZZ Top, Ted Nugent, and Damn Yankees. 1993 saw “Mental *@%.!” featured on “The Beavis & Butt-head Experience,” a compilation album of songs tied in with MTV’s hit cartoon series; it was eventually certified triple platinum.

1994 was one of the most important years in the band’s career. Their second album, “Push Comes to Shove,” hit the streets and went gold. That August, Jackyl turned in one of the most acclaimed performances at Woodstock ’94 in Saugerties, New York, and the resulting double album “Woodstock 94” went platinum and included “Headed for Destruction” (a track from “Push Comes to Shove”). The live recording “Night of the Living Dead” was released exclusively in Europe on Mayhem Records in 1996.

It wasn’t long before Jackyl followed A&R legend John Kalodner (who had signed them to Geffen) to Sony Music’s imprint Epic Records. “Cut the Crap” was released in 1997 and benefited from two industry heavyweights overseeing its recording: producer Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica) and mixer Kevin Shirley (silverchair, Aerosmith). This album spawned the rock radio hit “Locked and Loaded,” which included guest vocals by AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. It was the first time Johnson had ever recorded with any artist but AC/DC since he joined the band 17 years earlier. A collection of B-sides titled “Stayin’ Alive” appeared on Shimmering Tone Records in 1998, but the biggest highlight of the year was Geffen’s release of the best-of collection “Choice Cuts” and the related promotional events Jackyl did to help promote it.

The band earned two Guinness Book of World Records citations and the designation of “The Hardest Working Band in Rock ‘N’ Roll” for performing 100 shows in 50 days, as well as 21 shows in 24 hours. Dupree says the most grueling of the two was 21 shows in 24 hours; Jackyl completed that task in Texas, and the shows were all done with full lights and sound. The daytime sets were 45 minutes long, whereas the ones done at nighttime were between 90 and 120 minutes long.

Jackyl released “Relentless” on Humidity Records in 2002. It contained the second collaboration with Brian Johnson, “Kill the Sunshine.” Universal Music/Geffen Records also issued a Jackyl volume as part of its acclaimed “20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection” best-of series in 2003. For a band that built its reputation as road warriors, it’s surprising that a full-length live album meant for worldwide release did not appear until 2004 with the separate release of the “Live at the Full Throttle Saloon” CD and DVD on Sanctuary Records. “Live at the Full Throttle Saloon” was recorded and filmed in summer 2003 in Sturgis, South Dakota as part of the legendary annual biker rally festivities held there.

It’s an incredible accomplishment when a rock band has been successful enough to reach the 25-year mark since the release of their first album, and in 2017, Jackyl accomplished this feat, celebrating with an appropriately-titled compilation, “25,” released on July 28 via Mighty Loud Records.

The 18-track set features radio hits like “Down on Me,” “The Lumberjack,” “Push Comes to Shove,” and “Favorite Sin,” as well as two previously unreleased tracks – a live rendition of “Redneck Punk” and a cover of Black Oak Arkansas’ “Hot and Nasty.”

“At the time we first hit the scene, we were told by quite a few interviewers and fans that we sounded like a cross between Black Oak Arkansas and AC/DC,” the band explained. “While we was very familiar with AC/DC, we were not with BOA. We went back and listened and were blown away – so much so, that we recorded a cover of one of their most kick ass tunes, ‘Hot and Nasty,’ which is now finally getting its release on this comp.”

Jackyl has made a name for themselves as a killer live band that delivers night after night and has continued to offer up good old fashioned blues boogie over the years, all the way up to their most recent studio release, 2016’s “Rowyco.”

“It’s not about coming to see a Jackyl show – it’s about coming to be a part of it,” Dupree said. “Every show becomes a family reunion.”

See NEPA Scene’s photos of Jackyl playing at the second annual Rock Carnival in New Jersey back in 2016 here.