Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants is a new project from Shiflett, already known as the lead guitarist for Foo Fighters and the frontman for Jackson United. Steeped in his love for classic country artists (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings), rockabilly (Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran), and deep-rooted rock bands (The Rolling Stones, The Replacements), this new album is packed with soulful pedal steel- and twang guitar-accented songs. The album highlights his talent and versatility not only as a skillful guitarist, but also as a songwriter. These infectious Americana-laced rock songs are some of the best he's penned, from the chiming keys and buoyant, ringing guitars of "Get Along" to the pedal steel- and mandolin-lined heartache of "Bandaged," and from the spry, Old 97s-ian "Baby, Let It Out" to the rueful country swing of "Death March."
Shiflett wrote the songs on Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants over the course of 2008-9, inspiration first striking when a friend asked him to perform at Orange County's punk-rockabilly Hootenanny festival in 2008. After re-immersing himself in his Americana and old country music collection to prepare a short set - and then playing a brief acoustic tour with friend Joey Cape of Lagwagon - he began writing what eventually became the new album. Recorded at the Foo Fighters' Studio 606 in Los Angeles, CA, this past December and January, the core band on Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants is Shiflett (vocals, guitar), 606 house engineer John Lousteau (drums, in addition to engineering), and Derek Silverman (keyboards). The album's additional instrumentation was performed by an array of fine musicians, including Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and The Imposters, Jenny Lewis, John Hiatt) on bass, Greg Leisz (Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Whiskeytown) on pedal steel, Stevie Blacke (Beck, Weezer, Colbie Caillat) on violin and mandolin, and Audra Mae on backing vocals.
Track listing for Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants:
- Get Along
- God Damn
- Burning Lights (Joe Strummer cover)
- An Atheist's Player
- Not Going Down Alone
- Baby, Let It Out
- Death March
Summer touring news for Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants will be announced soon.