Whiskey Diablo brings its blend of jazz and bluegrass to the Lowcountry

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Whiskey Diablo brings its blend of jazz and bluegrass to the Lowcountry

By PATRICK DONOHUE
pdonohue@beaufortgazette.com
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012   |  565 Words  |  

It's easy to forgive audiences for sometimes thinking the songs covered by Charleston trio Whiskey Diablo are the band's original work.

Sprinkled into a set that includes all of the songs off its recently released LP, "Wail & Serenade," are covers of songs by heavy metal acts like Danzig and Metallica infused with the band's rockabilly, country sound.

"People don't always know the songs that we're covering .. and they mistakenly think they're ours," frontman Patrick Blake says, with a chuckle.

Blake, drummer Brian Widlowski and bass player Jonathan Grey will bring their distinct blend of country, bluegrass, blues and jazz to The Smokehouse on Hilton Head Island on Friday and Plums in Beaufort on Saturday.

Blake discusses the band's new album and their upcoming local gigs:

Question. How would you describe Whiskey Diablo's sound?

Answer. The idea was always not to try to take the band in a certain direction musically and just see what happens. I wanted all of the musicians in the band to kind of play how they see it. As a result, there's some of our songs that have more of a Latin and jazz kind of feel and others that are more country and rockabilly and rock 'n' roll. It's kind of hard to put us in any one genre because we're all influenced by music from such an array of genres.

Q. The band released a new album, "Wail & Serenade" in October. How has the record been received?

A. Most of our sales have come at the shows, but it's also for sale on iTunes and Amazon. All of our fans really seem to be enjoying it but as far as getting a sense for the larger response to the record, I think it's just too soon to tell.

Q. How are your sets composed? Are you playing mostly songs off the record or unreleased material?

A. We'll pull all of the songs off the record and we'll also play some newer material that didn't make the record and a few covers here and there.

Q. What's your favorite cover?

A. The one that immediately comes to mind is an old blues song called "The Hunter" that was later covered by Danzig. We're playing mostly on acoustic instruments, so our version is a bit more of a shuffle than the original. We also cover a lot of country stuff like Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash.

Covers like that tend to get a pretty big response from the audience.

Q. Have you played Beaufort or Hilton Head before?

A. This will be our first time playing The Smokehouse, but we've been playing Plums about once a month since August. The reception has been, good and the audiences have started to grow a bit in recent months.

People seem to be a little more aware of us now, and the release of our new CD has really helped, too.

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