Angry Johnny and the Killbillies, Creepin’ Charley & the Boneyard Orchestra, The Hoovers
Friday, May 4, 10 p.m., cost TBD
If ever there was a bill that was meant to be, this is it. Massachusetts-based Angry Johnny, an artist whose work tends to the macabre, is bringing his roots-influenced band to Radio Radio Friday, headlining a show that includes Indy’s own rootsy Creepin’ Charley & the Boneyard Orchestra, whose frontman, Shelby Kelley, is also an artist whose work focuses on the macabre.
Despite hailing from Massachusetts, Angry Johnny and the Killbillies play music that seems born from a broth that is equal parts voodoo chant, hillbilly stomp and murder ballads, with a lovelorn sadness that sounds like the bloody aftermath of an unholy Hank Williams Sr. and Tom Waits union. Blessed with an expressive voice perfectly suited for this sort of stuff, Angry Johnny leads his Killbillies on a rollicking ride that includes songs like “Hey Hank,” “My Ghoul Maggie” and “High Noon in Killville,” featuring mandolins and fiddles fighting for sonic space with traditional rock and roll instruments.
Meanwhile, hot off the recent release of their video for “Dirty Money,” Creepin’ Charley is in the midst of a creative whirlwind. Each gig that passes brings more new songs that find the band evolving into a top notch high-octane rock and roll outfit that this town has way too few of. Chad Pollock and Andy Fark are probably one of the tightest rhythm sections in the Ohio Valley, while the magic of herky-jerky frontman Kelley and his foil on the guitar, Emerald Eric Grimmitt, give this band a presence that few others can match.