Between 1983 and 1995, Canadian alternative country band Jr. Gone Wild was successful with five albums and countless epic live shows, combining folk and rock with a punk attitude. Over 25 years later, original members Mike McDonald (guitars, vocals), Steve Loree (lead guitar) and Dave “Dove” Brown (bass) have reunited, with McDonald’s nephew Quinton Herbert on drums (he’s replacing drummer Larry Shelast, who passed away in 2019). On their new double LP Still Got The Jacket, on which they pick up where they left off. The 16(!) new tracks are energetic, uplifting and danceable, a stunning mix of twangy rock, melodic country-punk and glorious power pop. Original tracks like Old and Ugly and Barricades are new classics, the cover of Chilliwack’s Fly At Night (featuring Chilliwack founder Bill Hendersen) is telling – “Four men in a rock ‘n’ roll band // Fly at night, in the morning we country” – and fits in well. You can hear the chemistry between skilled musicians, the hard-earned experience, and the joy of playing in everything. The band name may seem a bit strange in 2021 – time has not stood still (that also applies to the girl in the crowd) – but the four men not only still have their leather jackets, but also still play with the fire that characterized their performances back in the day. If this is what alt-country means, Jr. Gone Wild should continue like this.
Still Got The Jacket is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl 2LP through Stony Plain Records / (weewerk) Recordings.