Going to concerts can be a drag, especially if you’ve been to more than a few. The simple social mores that we all abide by during the day in order to keep the wheels of civilization greased slip out of place in the nighttime world, where people in bars can’t hold their liquor and use the enclosed space of a bar venue to act afool. If you’re at a popular show, space tightens up, putting you too close for comfort. And then there’s the waiting game- the act you paid to see isn’t likely to start on time. Perhaps worst of all, you’ve got the opening acts to contend with.
A few months ago, (Charles Bradley returned to Headliner’s. Whipsmart from too many mismatched bands, I braced myself in my spot up front for the worst. I’ll never forget the impossibly poorly picked Polka duo who had opened for Sharon Jones at that same spot years ago, which felt like a cruel joke. I was extremely surprised and pleased to be introduced that night to Louisville’s reigning Soul Champions, the Junk Yard Dogs.
I caught up with Johnny Siegle and got the lowdown:
As a big fan of Soul music, I was pleased (and somewhat chagrined, since it challenges my cred) to find that I was entirely unfamiliar with the songs on your album. Instead of googling to find the answer, I’ll just ask you: How many of these are covers, and how many are your own originals?
All the songs on the album are originals. We have many songwriters within the group. In the end, everyone contributes.
When did you first realize that you loved music in general, and Soul in particular?
We’ve all been music junkies since we were kids. We are all in multiple bands, representing many genres. The JYDs is our soul gang.
You held your own when opening for Charles Bradley, which is no easy task. Who else would you like to perform with?
We just love to play. Anytime. Anywhere. With anybody.
What’s the prevailing philosophy behind the Junk Yard Dogs?
I don’t think there necessarily is one. We enjoy rehearsals as much as shows. Just hanging out with each other. It really is like our own little gang, but with instruments, instead of switchblades. Though , there is a switchblade in back of my amp.
What’s your long term plan?
To have fun, and to hope one of us remembers to get paid at the end of the night.