John Doe claims that the idea for his latest project came out of a drunken promise he made late one night to Dallas and Travis Good of Toronto-based breakout band The Sadies. The pledge: He would make a country record with them one day. The ever-humble Doe still can’t decide whether it was a promise or a threat, but he is sure about one thing-the results of the collaboration have been amazing. This year, Yep Roc released Country Club, an album of psychedelia-goosed honky-tonk tunes, and on Wednesday, Doe and The Sadies will be at SOhO with Santa Barbara favorite Jill Sobule as their opening act. They plan a long and varied set, including music from their new album, plus some Doe songs, some Sadies songs, and even a few select numbers by Doe’s old punk outfit, X.
I spoke with Doe by phone last week about the project. The album sounds deceptively like straight-ahead Bakersfield country, but upon closer listen you can hear some moody instrumental moments lurking among country’s more familiar heartaches. “It’s good that you’re bringing that sort of negative to the party,” Doe noted. “I am glad [that by listening to the album] you can look down that long dark hallway, and I know where that feeling came from. I think that’s why I am drawn to working with The Sadies. : Some people add these odd noises to their arrangements for effect and it’s like a teenager getting weird for attention. It ends up sounding dumb and it’s just terrible-not good at all. But there are other people who do it and it is natural, and it sounds right. Dallas [Good] really is that dark. He’s a big fan of psychedelia, and he knows a lot of songs by these one-hit, or even one-record bands, so that’s part of his mindset. But these guys also have a clear, versatile sense of who they are, and as a result, what they do can be varied and still sound right.”
John Doe and The Sadies will appear with Jill Sobule at SOhO (1221 State St.) on Wednesday, August 5. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for details.