It says a lot about a band when the previous generation’s giants take notice, and touring with Joe Walsh is a great honor, not given, but earned. JD & The Straight Shot have been working hard since forming in 2005; with six magnificent albums under their belts, their song “Can’t Make Tears” serving as the theme song to Hell on Wheels, and touring with the likes of the Eagles and ZZ Top, it only made sense that crowds would flock to the Louisville Palace, one of the most beautiful structures in the city, to see this band live and in person.
The audience went wild as the band took the stage; JD & The Straight Shot opened their set with “Empty”, and the fact there was something incredibly special about this wild west-inspired outfit was undeniable.
The band was complete with two guitars, bass, fiddle, accordion, and a serious of devices attached to the percussionist–including a washboard. JD, quite the storyteller, gave us a lesson on the origin of the title track to their new album, Ballyhoo!, a word which describes the excitement incited by elaborately-clothed carnival hype men who traveled into each town to promote the big show. At this point, the festively-clothed frontman pulled a stuffed rabbit out of his top and tossed it to a lucky fan.
Mixed into the set were covers, some of which were just as good as, if not better than the originals, including a solo-infused intensely rousing rendition of Little Feat’s “Let it Roll”, which proved they were more of a rock n’ roll powerhouse than any full electric group around. Toes were tapped, heads were bobbed, heartstrings were thoroughly tugged, and not one pair of hands remained separate as the audience broke into thunderous applause at the finish of their too-short set.