I know Jim Dalton best from the Railbenders but I’m excited to see him hit the stage with Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at the State Room in Salt Lake City on 5/25. In fact, they’ve got a bunch of dates listed so click here to see them all.
Here’s what I remember, although it’s a bit of a haze…but around 2004 and 2005 the Supersuckers were on creative overdrive with their “Big Shows”, CD releases, 7 inches and their fan club stuff, but they were still having what Eddie referred to as this “Spinal Tap moment with drummers”. They had these shows booked in Utah that carried the band right into Colorado. If you’re a band like the Supersuckers, you couldn’t hook up with a better band than the Railbenders for the Colorado market. A market a band could spend an easy 10 days playing through. The Supersuckers had these dates booked but they didn’t have a drummer for the first few shows until Mike Musburger could join up with them. So Graham of the Railbenders filled in as the Supersuckers drummer those first few nights. I remember one night in particular (I think in Colorado Springs) where the venue they played pretty much ran out of beer. Oh man these shows in Colorado were legendary. The Railbenders and Supersuckers we’re a great bill. Once we did close to a 1000 people at the Gothic in Denver and auctioned off tickets to sit on the stage to raise money for the WM3 Defense Fund. These were awesome times and it’s hard to believe it was almost 10 years ago…
The guys in the Railbenders are just a class act. So if you ever get to Denver check them out. In the meantime I’ll be at the Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers show.
So here’s a short Q & A with Jim Dalton of the Railbenders, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, and the Hickman-Dalton Gang…
Q: What’s it like working with Johnny Hickman of Cracker? I’ve always been a fan of Hickman and I think that song Low has an incredible guitar part.
A: I was always a huge Cracker fan. I remember clearly the first time I heard “Teen Angst” on the radio. It didn’t sound like anyone else at the time. I bought every record they came out with. So when I got a call out of the blue one day from Johnny (who had recently moved to Colorado), it was kind of surreal. Working with him has been great. He’s a phenomenal player and writer, and now a good friend. Funny you mention the guitar part to “Low.” I like to think I have a pretty decent ear when it comes to figuring out guitar parts, but “Low” kinda had me stumped back when I used to listen to “Kerosene Hat” (remember this was before the days of simply searching youtube and a watching a video of somebody playing it). So, I was doing a show with him recently and we were backstage warming up when it occurred to me that I could actually learn how to play “Low” from the master himself. Well, he showed me. And the thing is, l still can’t make it sound like he does. Only Johnny can play that riff. He’s a a true original.
Q: Do you have any favorite Supersuckers stories?
A: Oh man. So many! Having Rontrose and Jordan join us on stage for “LaGrange” at the end of our set; Eddie singing on our record; Churilla drumming all of Rush’s 2112 on the dashboard of my car on the way to Denny’s; joining Eddie for his Twist & Shout in-store here in Denver. Being Eddie’s country band for some of solo shows. It was a blast and an honor touring with, and getting to know those guys.
Q: You’ve got a great voice. Growing up did you ever take singing lessons? And who are some of your favorite vocalists?
A: No, I never took vocal lessons. Growing up, I never envisioned being a lead singer. I always wanted to be a guitarist. When I approached Tyson about starting the Railbenders, we started as a trio. I played guitar and he played the upright bass, and we had Mike Minnick on drums. I was writing the songs so I just decided to sing them and I guess it worked out alright. Even though I had no lessons, I figured out early on to know my limitations as a vocalist. I really have no range. I can’t sing high, so I stay low.
Q: Any stories from some of the bands you’ve played with over the years; Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Z.Z. Top?
A: We opened for Dwight Yoakam on the night of what would be the last show for lead guitarist, Keith Gaddis. He was leaving the band. So Dwight’s band asked if we knew of a good bar where they could have a going away party for him. Of course, we told them to go to Tyson’s bar at the time (Bender’s). So Dwight’s entire band (along with new guitarist Eddie Perez) followed us to Bender’s where we threw a post-show party and they took to the stage and gave us and about 20 other people in the bar a private concert. It was epic.
Q: Beatles or the Stones?
A: I was asked this recently. I simply said, “Yes”. So they asked me if I had to pick one, who would I pick. I said, “I don’t, so I won’t. I love both.”
Q: Jordan Shapiro or Jimi Hendrix?
Q: If you could sit in and play with any band past or present who would it be?
A; Man that’s hard. For country, I’d say it would be awesome to play guitar in Waylon’s band in 1972 during the Honky Tonk Heroes era. For rock, it would be a dream to sit in with the Stones and trade riffs with Keith. I could die happy after that.