West Palm Beach's the KillBillies Head on Tour, and They'll Let You Stalk Them All the Way to Vermont
The rowdiness and raw talent that emanates from each band member will undoubtedly turn a few northern heads. Lead singer, guitarist, and sax man Ben Childs spearheads the live shows with his energetic vocals, along with Micah Scott, who swings the steel guitar, banjo, and even mandolin. Their sound is rounded out by Luke Pennell, who dominates the stand-up bass, turning the instrument into a stage prop and making it all look so easy. Notably missing from the trio is a drummer, but don't spill your Guinness over it. Childs and Scott have it covered, keeping extra busy on stage by using their feet to create the percussion with kick drums.
The guys hit the road on August 1 on a completely self-booked tour and didn't leave much room for getting lost or checking out tourist crap. Show days are booked back to back and sometimes states apart. While being cramped in a van for two weeks may sound like a nightmare to most, the KillBillies claim this type of pressure-cooker situation gets the creative juices flowing. The trio will set up some recording equipment in the tour van so they can lay down their latest inspired tracks at a moment's notice.
South Florida will miss the jaunty tunes of the KillBillies, but to ease any separation anxiety, the band set it up so that we can cyber-stalk its every move. The crew plans to keep fans updated via its Facebook page throughout the grueling odyssey and is even working on a documentary of the journey.
Considering the excitement and talent fueling this tour, it's shocking to think that it almost didn't happen. Mere months ago, Pennell suffered from a hernia that had punctured his intestine, and on June 4, the KillBillies sent out a message to the internet gods asking for any donations to help Luke receive the surgery he so desperately needed to survive. In less than 27 hours, fans from around the world gathered around the band and raised the necessary funds to put Pennell back onstage. He was truly humbled by the experience, stating, "I owe my life to a bunch of good people -- many I've never met -- from all over the world. It goes to prove that even when you lose faith in a system meant to help and heal the sick and wounded, people will come together and take care of their own."
The KillBillies have a big heart and plenty of talent to back it up. Keep a close watch on this band, and follow along as it moves beyond South Florida and sweeps the rest of the nation.
The KillBillies still have a few local gigs before the tour starts in August:
7/26: O'Shea's Irish Pub in West Palm from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
7/27: Paddy Mac's in Palm Beach Gardens from 9 p.m. to midnight
7/28: Carson's Tavern in Stuart from 9 p.m. to midnight
The KillBillies 2012 East Coast Tour Dates
8/1: Worm Hole, Savannah, GA
8/3: Hank's Saloon, Brooklyn, NY
8/4-5: BayHouse Restaurant, Breezy Point, NY
8/6: LIC Bar, Queens, NY
8/7: Trash Bar, NY
8/8: Radio Bean, Burlington, VT
8/9: Charlies 0's, Montpelier, VT
8/10: Big G's with with Stem in Whitehall, PA
8/11: Valentines and the Luck Juke Box Brigade, Albany, NY
8/12: Rondoutmusic Lounge with Everymen, Kingston, NY
8/13: Oasis with Everymen, New Paltz, NY
8/15: Snug Harbor- Charlotte, NC
8/16: RootBar, Asheville, NC
8/17: Sloppy Taco Palace Orlando, FL
For more info on the gigs and venues visit killbillies.info.