When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide, the latest album by Jesse James Dupree and the guys in Jackyl, is an ass-kicking, in-your-face masterpiece of hard rock; a musical, chain saw-wielding massacre and a kick in the teeth to the pop divas and puerile teenagers whose synthed-up, electronically bloated music has lately been flooding the airwaves.
With not one ballad on the album, When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide, released by Mighty Loud on the Fontana/Universal label, features a mix of classic rock and roll and the blues-driven southern rock that has long been the calling card of this hard-working band.
Jesse had just come home to Atlanta when he and I had a chat over the phone. I wanted a chance to catch up with him and talk about the new album and what he has going on over at Tru.tv where his show, Full Throttle Saloon, is now in its second season. Jesse will be getting shot out of a cannon on the next two episodes, December 22nd and 29th.
Jackyl Interview – Jesse James Dupree – When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide Full Throttle Pt 1
You can watch the video from that call, Jesse talking about the new album, the music, and the songwriting process for When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide as well as getting shot out of a cannon to celebrate the Sturgis 70 Year Anniversary. Or you can check out the more personal part two of that interview Jackyl Interview – Jesse James Dupree – When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide Full Throttle Pt 2.
In part two Jesse James Dupree weighs in on life on the road, and his suspicion that those people who are constantly trying to find fault with him and his band are also the same people who are afraid to admit they masturbate. Which, by the way, was the one piece of advice that he wanted to make sure was well understood by kids who are looking to make it in rock and roll. “The most important thing for them to know,” he said, “[is that] if they masturbate hair will not really grow in the palms of their hands, and if it does, it’s easily removed with some Nair.”
We discussed his favorite bands to tour with, his long friendship with DMC and what he thinks of the press attacks on Justin Bieber. You really should give both videos a roll, at least for posterity—these might very well be Jesse James Dupree’s last words before being blasted from a cannon. As he said, “You’ll have to tune in to see if I actually live or not. You don’t know that.”
Jackyl is once again inflaming the Holier-Than-Thous and pushing the envelope with the latest release from When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide to hit the streets, a razor-sharp bluesy rock number that Jesse wrote years ago in response to another great Atlanta rock and roll band that Jesse grew up listening to and even toured with, Mother’s Finest.
The song is called “Just Like a Negro,” which immediately raised the hackles of Jackyl haters, but they can sit back down and shut up. The song is a classic Mother’s Finest rock funk number, and when Jesse asked if he could do it, he was given their blessing… but asked to re-write it “so that a white dude can sing it.” It is a tribute to the legendary black musicians who laid the cornerstone for rock and roll: Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry as well hard rock greats like Jimi Hendrix. When DMC heard Jackyl’s version he immediately wanted to be a part of it, so he laid down the incredible rap in the middle of the song.
“Just Like a Negro” Jackyl featuring DMC
Jackyl also does a killer version of Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz” on this album. Jesse James Dupree’s whiskey-drenched rasp is absolutely perfect on this song—not everyone can do justice to Janis Joplin, though many have tried. Like Bette Midler in The Rose, Jesse captures the breath-taking depth of Joplin’s powerhouse vocals and infuses his own brand of fiery, blues-rich southern rock into the heart of it. When I told him how much I enjoyed his version he explained to me how the song’s addition on the album came about. “I laid that down and my 20-year-old son Nigel walked into the room and heard it, and he had never really heard the original version, so it impacted him. And I thought maybe it’s a cool way to expose younger guys to Janis Joplin and some real rootsy rock and roll.”
The album When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide bears a strong resemblance, both vocally and musically, to AC/DC, a band that Jesse mentions, along with Iron Maiden, as one of the bands he’d like to tour with, but has yet to. The opening cut, “Loads of Fun,” and the track “My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass,” are clearly paying tribute to that band, along with the title track, “When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide,” which mentions that band specifically in its lyrics.
Little surprise that Jackyl would openly invoke AC/DC on the album, as the two bands have long had a similar sound and style and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson has done appearances with Jackyl in the recent past. Jesse and he have become chainsaw wielding friends over the years and Jesse mentioned that the two had just hung up from a phone call when we chatted; we discussed that in Part Two of our interview also.
There are some songs on When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide that bear more than a passing resemblance to early Slade, like their tribute to strippers, “She’s Not a Drug,” which falls soundly in the Slade camp between “Gudbye to Jane” and “Mama We’re All Crazee Now.” That song, along with the familiar driving guitar riffs and bass-heavy rhythm on “Deeper in Darkness” and “Freight Train,” seem to pay homage to the original sound coming from hard rock bands who were an integral part in the creation of the pounding, driving, American blues-laden music that would grow to form the backbone of southern rock.
The one thing you can always count on with Jackyl is a fun, rocking album and in that area When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide doesn’t disappoint. Jackyl is not a band trying make a sweeping political statement nor are they a band to use metaphors and fuck-wittery to progress their own agenda. They are simply a good old rock and roll band who wants everyone to join the fun, have a beer and forget their troubles for a while. And there are far too few of those kind of rock and roll bands around today.
Jesse’s son, Nigel, is following in his father’s footsteps with his own band, The Nigel Dupree Band, and Jesse couldn’t be prouder. They’re working on a new album now as Jackyl takes a short hiatus, but Jackyl will be kicking it on the tour circuit again after the New Year. Check out RockMeRollMeJackylMeOff.com for upcoming tour dates and announcements.
When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide
1. Loads Of Fun
2. I Can’t Stop
3. She’s Not A Drug
4. My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass
5. Get Mad At It
6. The Overflow Of Love
7. When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide
8. Just Like A Negro
9. Deeper In Darkness
10. Freight Train
11. Mercedes Benz
12. Full Throttle