JD & The Straight Shot in Raleigh: you’ve never seen anything quite like this before

JD & the Straight Shot

By Gus Samarco, Rock At Night Raleigh Correspondent

Venue: Red Hat Amphitheater , Raleigh, North Carolina – August, 09, 2016 –  JD & The Straight Shot


I’m Empty, but I’m Honest. As a pre-historic Heavy Metal fan that I Am, I wasn’t all giggles about this assignment. I have a feeling that when my editor gave me this assignment, she was ginning– knowing the surprise I would have soon…

The Show was at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater in the heart of Downtown Raleigh. Safest place in town, right next to the Raleigh PD, Keeping The Bad Boys Under Control so It is Always Good, In The Neighborhood. But I digress, remember my editor grinning when I got the assignment? I always research and listen to the bands I’m shooting before the shows. When I read about JD & The Straight Shot and saw the pedigree of the musicians, I really didn’t care if they were playing Bluegrass or Jazz Metal (yes, there is such thing). I knew I was going to enjoy every note played.

Have I mentioned the whole set was acoustic with the whole band using a very small part of the stage for a more intimate experience with the crowd? Now, who could ever pull something like this in a venue with more than 5,000 seats? JD & The Straight Shot. If you have ever heard of Jim Dolan, you know the man knows how to entertain a crowd in a large arena, not to mention he has humbly toured with the likes of Eagles, Keith Urban, the Dixie Chicks, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the Allman Brothers Band, not to mention with Joe Walsh on his current tour.

I must say the first think that impressed me was JD’s voice timbre followed by the rest of the band, which have a pedigree a mile long. In addition to JD, the band is touring with Erin McCarley – vocals/guitar, JJ Appleton – guitar, Marc Copely – guitar, Byron House – bass, Mary Jo Stillip – violin, and Shawn Pelton on the drums.

Ballyhoo! is a heck of a good acoustic album and with this show, I was really feeling like Life was a Carnival and I was Just taking This Ride for Free. I didn’t even notice that it had Just Only Begun and I was Having So Much Fun. JD & The Straight Shot Released the Brakes And Just Let the crowd Glide, I simply Closed My Eyes And Just Glided for the rest of the Show.

I tell you what, I have never seen an Alligator Woman a Two-headed Child or even a Wolf-man Running Wild, even though I feel normal, but I digress. Everyone’s Got a freak inside, so I better Find a Church Soon, Get on My Knees and Beg for a Chance to Dance With Someone Who Believes.  Ballyhoo!

**Fans of JD & the Straight Shot will appreciate the “inside joke”

Next Tour Dates:

Aug 11    Gaillard Auditorium    Charleston, SC

Aug 13    Mud Island Amphitheatre    Memphis, TN

Aug 14    The Louisville Palace    Louisville, KY

Sep 03    Jazz Aspen Snowmass    Aspen, CO

Sep 10    Big Blues Bender    Las Vegas, NV

Sep 25    Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival    Franklin, TN

Oct 28    Brooklyn Bowl    London, United Kingdom

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Gus Samarco

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