Van Life: JD & The Straight Shot

Fresh from touring with The Eagles, Chicago, and most recently The Doobie Brothers, it’s fair to say JD & The Straight Shot are taking their Americana message further afield than most. The band have just released their new album, Good Luck And Good Night, and just completed a UK tour with the aforementioned Doobies. Americana-UK caches up with guitar player Marc Copely and asks what’s currently lighting their musical fires in the splitter bus.

So, how’s life in the tin can?
Our life on tour is unique, as it is with all bands I’m sure. We tend to hang together quite a bit and are all into finding some tasty food wherever we are. We’re in Dublin right now and heard an award-winning fiddle player last night that blew our minds! The best thing about that is we’ll likely take some of that experience with us when writing or making our next record. We tend to have some Celtic influence as it is. For example, our single, “Run For Me” from our new album “Good Luck and Good Night” has a sort of Celtic breakdown that features Erin Slaver and I playing unison lines together.

I reach into the glove box, grab the pile of CDs. What am I going to find? What’s this? A book?
In our glove box,  you’d find a book of fiddle tunes. We’re all learning tunes from it all the time and having fun jamming backstage on them. I’m trying to work out some stuff on the mandolin so that book is a huge help in getting that instrument together. As far as music on the road, we tend to listen to full albums instead of the current climate of purchasing one song at a time.

Allman Brothers- Live At At Fillmore East
Amazing all the way around – the spirit, the playing,  reminds us of why we got into this in the first place.

Harold Budd/Brian Eno– The Pearl
This is a personal fave of mine. The musicality and production are breathtaking and it’s great for getting into a more relaxed and creative head space for me.

The Band – Music From Big Pink 
This speaks to us as a model for how a band should sound and the songs…I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said.

The Eagles- Witchy Woman
We just did our Halloween show so this one was on the playlist along with the Time Warp. Ha!  We played Time Warp from Rocky Horror acoustic style and it was gangbusters! We were fortunate enough to have played around fifty shows opening for the Eagles so their songs are always on the playlist.

Little Willie John – Spasms
Another personal fave. The vocal is mind-blowing. He really goes into a different character on this vocal and captures lightning in a bottle. Rock and roll for sure.

Jason Isbell- If We Were Vampires
We all love Jason’s music and this song is a heartbreaker. One of the greatest songwriters of our time.

Grateful Dead- Pretty much the whole catalogue here.
Jim and Byron are huge fans and know just about every song they ever recorded!

Band Of Joy – Monkey 
I’m adding this to call out our bass player, Byron House. He played bass in Robert Plant’s Band Of Joy and this song really puts you in a unique place. Moody, dark, and totally grooving. His playing on it is low down and dirty and one reason we pretty much forced him to be in our band. Haha! I also love Low who wrote and recorded this originally.

Erin McCarley- Good
Erin has been working with us on and off through the last couple years and just released this song and it’s the bomb. She’s one of my favourite singers on the planet and this song is one to check out for sure.

Chicago- 25 or 6 to 4
we’ve been touring a bit with them and they’re amazing guys and just absolutely burning. This is one of the first songs I learned on guitar too, so I have a real soft spot for it. It’s a real honour to be asked out on the road with bands like Chicago, The Eagles, and now we’re out with the Doobie Brothers and the crowds have been really responsive to what we’re doing. You’d think an acoustic Americana band could be an odd fit since those bands are predominantly electric, but it’s been quite the opposite. We’ve been a perfect fit in the sense that roots music threads through those bands, so their audience is feeling it. Can’t them enough for having us.

Good Luck And Good Night is out now 

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