KEXP Presents: Shake The Shack Rockabilly Ball


Good God, Y’all…September 27th is rapidly approaching. 17 Bands are starting to “gig” their way to Seattle for the 20th Annual Shake the Shack Rockabilly Ball. What started out as a hair-brained idea 20 years ago to bring a few rockabilly bands to Seattle to help bolster awareness for the genre, has turned into a multi-day, international event complete with Hot Rod Show and a CD…what went wrong? I used to have dark brown hair, it’s very white now – I used to have normal blood pressure, now the doctors are concerned – My liver?…punish the liver, it is evil. All I know is that the event which takes place every last weekend of September is still my favorite time to let it all hang out, have fun and immerse myself in the best rockabilly bands, the most fun people, the best tattoos, the best hot-rods, the coolest hair, the coldest beer, and some of the best dancing I’ve seen anywhere. Everyone is invited…rockabillies, rockers, boppers, cats and kittens, foxes and hounds, moms, dads, greasers, accountants, teachers…whoever wants to see the best rockabilly bands there are on the face of the planet…all at the Tractor here in Seattle.

This year I will be celebrating 20 years of both the Rockabilly Ball and Shake the Shack, so I wanted to bring my favorite bands and I also wanted to showcase the best new, young rockabilly bands from around the world.

Thursday night the 27th will feature my favorite bands from around the Seattle area. The Roy Kay Trio, a three piece traditional rockabilly band with no drums, will be live on Shake the Shack this Friday the 21st. Marshall Scott Warner plays the drums and croons with the best of ‘em and always has an all star lineup backing him. The Dusty 45’s will always put on a show from flaming trumpets, to incredible showmanship, Billy Joe belts it out, while playing guitar and trumpet… they are a Northwest classic. What really excites me Thursday, is the special All Star Sun Records Tribute – this is an all-star band backing many different singers from all different backgrounds and genres… we can’t say who the singers are, but you will be surprised – anyone who misses it will be sorry!

Friday night the 28th will feature 5 bands… we will start early 8:00 – every band is a monster. All the way from Great Britain, The Cathouse Creepers, a high energy crazy show that will leave the audience in disbelief…this is real British rockabilly. Chuy and the Bobcats, a crew of youngsters from LA who has impressed me as one of the new “contenders” of rockabilly. Their original tunes and incredible musicianship will have you dancing… even if you don’t know how. Omar and the Stringpoppers, another young band from LA, will gut punch you in the eardrums and continue with your uncontrolled dancing. Now, take a big bowl, mix up a batch of rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, psychobilly, and punk – you will have the next two bands. 18 Wheeler and Hillbilly Casino – these two bands are no-holds barred, serious rockin’ bands. You will see the best upright bass playing you have ever seen, you will hear bands play songs you never thought you’d hear played by a rockabilly band…stay to the end – you will be a sweaty mess.

Saturday morning the 29th we will convene at the Shanty Tavern on Lake City Way for the 4th Annual Shake the Shack Hot Rod and Motorcycle Show. The show starts at 10:00am. What kind of vehicles will you see? Hot Rods, Classic Cars, Family Cars, weird cars, rat rods, the Shake the Shack Solid Gold Cadillac, sportscars, theme cars, Harleys, rat bikes, crotch rockets, and more. Bands will be playing (Mama Tried, Billy Dwayne and the Creepers, The 1,2,3,4’s, and more). Dante will be there with his famous hot dogs, wieners and sausages! Come on down and vote for your favorite cars – all spectators get to vote.

Saturday night the 29th we meet up again at the Tractor for the finale, the Big Kielbassa of all rockabilly shows…for tonight we celebrate the 20th anniversary – bring your stunt liver. The Honeybees – these young ladies from Chicago will tear the evening open in style as they sing, shimmy, swing and rock the house (you will fall in love – I do every time). Now my three favorite modern rockabilly bands of all time. The Mezcal Brothers – these Lincoln Nebraska boys have a few tricks up their sleeves – you will be talking about them and their stage show for a long time. The Go Getters, from Sweden, stand-up drummer singer three piece high energy insanity all on stage right before your eyes… they are the best there is. Together again for the first time in ten years, a reunion of Johnny and the Blades… Dixie Peach Palmade!

So if you are a bit curious, come on in… the water’s warm and the music is great. And if we offend you… tell your friends!

Click here for the full lineup and information. Buy your tickets at Ticketweb now!

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  1. claudio
    Posted June 5, 2008 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Rocks!!! Are they having shake the sack also in 2008?

  2. Jim Moore
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I went to the Shanty last year for Shake the Shack, and there was a guy that was pin striping a guitar on the pool table. Do you know who that is.. I would like to bring my strat this year and have him stripe it for me. Thanks for your time. Jim

  3. Larry Gulberg
    Posted July 10, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I would like to know your schedule for Rockability at the Tractor this fall. Specifically, I was in Lincoln, NE in June and was blown away by Hillbilly Casino. And I talked to the base player from the Mezcal Brothers who said he will be in Seattle soon with his other band, The Royal Palms (I think).

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