Throwing back shots of Whiskey Kill

Drink up, Betty
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  March 14, 2012

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KICKING BACK Whiskey Kill.

Diesel Doug hung 'em up a while ago, and King Memphis don't play out much anymore, so Whiskey Kill are clearly filling a bit of a void. If you're in the mood for some throwback rockabilly, Johnny Paycheck country rock, and a bit of jump blues, I'd suggest heading down to Bayside Bowl on Friday for the release of Pissed Off Betty, because this five-piece may not be doing anything you haven't heard before, but they do it pretty dang well.

Thomas Ferry is the growling frontman. You've probably seen him in a Seacoast rock band or two, like Smoke Up Johnny, but never this twangy or slicked-back. He's teamed with gal pal Elissa Williamson Scogland (who doesn't play in the band) to pen a bunch of fun little ditties about women who get revenge by mowing guys down with a souped-up hot rod (the title track), guys who like booze and guns, and all manner of country-character staples.

Helping him out are Jose Solorzano on a punchy stand-up bass, Greg Zaino with a firm pop on the drums, Bruce Hilton on pedal steel, and axeman Sean Yadisernia — his solo on "Cold Steel Lover" rips. Hilton's pedal work is much crisper than you'll usually hear, actually, with very few of those dragged-out notes.

The whole thing is a bit of a musical costume — the joy with which Ferry sings about being a dead man walking ("instead of the chair, they gave me life with you") sort of gives the lie to the lyrics — but they fill it out well.

PISSED OFF BETTY | Released by Whiskey Kill | with Pete Witham & the Cozmik Zombies + DangerWilRobinson | at Bayside Bowl, in Portland | March 16 | tinyurl.com/WhiskeyKill

  Topics: CD Reviews , Diesel Doug, Thomas Ferry, King Memphis,  More more >
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