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Published on May 31st, 2012 | by TLV News


Church Keys Opening Up Mississippi Rock ‘N’ Roll at Proud Larry’s SAT 6/9 (by Rebecca Long)

by Rebecca Long

Oxford, Miss. (TLV) – The five members of this Jackson-based band spent August through December in 2012 recording their debut album, Shake Back Shimmy, at Oxford’s Tweed Studios. The 14 original tracks, full of groovy riffs and catchy (but not poppy!) melodies and harmonies, were then mastered by Jeffrey Reed at Taproot Audio Design. In addition, Oxford’s own organ operator, Robert Chaffe, makes guest appearances on album tracks “Rook City” and “Scrimshaw,” though he says he won’t be playing with them at this show. And Anne Scott Barrett, talented Oxford townie and friend of the band, painted the two pieces gracing the front and back covers. This early summer gig at Proud Larrys’ will be their first Oxford outing since last fall’s studio time.

The members of The Church Keys, who began playing together in 2008, are DeMatt Harkins (guitar/vocals), John Scanlon (guitar/vocals), Kelly Adams (bass/backup vocals), Chris Crothers (drums), and Nathan McHardy (percussion/auxiliary sounds). The five Jacksonians are proud fathers, and they split their time between home, practice, work, and performing. One more thing they spend time doing is drinking good beer, hence the band’s name. (If you need a bit of schooling, “church key” was the way to refer to a bottle opener during the prohibition days, when one had to be careful about consumption of alcohol.) One listen to The Church Keys’ debut album lets you know they’ve struck a balance that works for everyone, especially their listeners.

According to a March article in Jackson Free Press, their influences include The Replacements, The Raconteurs, Little Feat, early Red Hot Chili Peppers, plus what I consider the staples of Southern rock ‘n’ roll—jazz, funk, and classic rock. For such an eclectic range of inspirations, these guys keep their music tight. They also keep the music fun, as it should be. If you can’t make it to the show, you should stop by The End Of All Music soon and pick up a copy of Shake Back Shimmy.


This article was published in The Local Voice #157 (May 31-June 14, 2012)…
Click here to download the PDF of issue #157.


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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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