SUBMITTED BY CHRIS CAMERON
New York based JD & the Straight Shot got the ball rolling for Joe Walsh on Sunday night with a rollicking performance at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster.
The band consists of billionaire Cablevision CEO Jim “JD” Dolan on lead vocals and guitar, songwriting partner Marc Copley (BB King and Roseanne Cash) on guitar and vocals, bassist Byron House (Robert Plant and Emmylou Harris), guitarist JJ Appleton (David Bowie, Darius Rucker), violinist Mary Jo Stillip (Adele, Jay-Z), vocalist/guitarist Erin McCarley (Don Henley), and percussionist Shawn Pelton (Saturday Night Live Band).
Opening for Joe Walsh (The Eagles, James Gang, Barnstorm), the band played a 50-minute set consisting of many songs from their fifth and all acoustic album, “Ballyhoo!”
Dolan explained to the audience that the title track was taken from carny slang of the American West. Merriam-Webster defines Ballyhoo as “talk or writing that is designed to get people excited or interested in something” and the band did just that throughout their performance. Dolan even played the part of carnival barker donning an old felt top-hat and velveteen jacket, pulling a stuffed rabbit from his hat and growling his lyrics at the audience in a playful way.
The audience was appreciative of the rhythms of “Ballyhoo,” “Better Find a Church,” and even a closing cover of Little Feat’s “Let it Roll” as Pelton segued from the washboard into the skins on “Wipe Out.”
The band demonstrated their gift for Americana and New-Orleans style roots music on songs such as “I Know, You Know, I Know” and the seemingly Bon Jovi-styled “Perdition,” which was used in the Natalie Portman film “Jane Got a Gun.”
Their music has been featured on AMC’s “Hell on Wheels,” as well as several other films including “Hurricane Season” and “St Vincent.”
The band have toured with The Eagles, Keith Urban, The Dixie Chicks, and The Allman Brothers.
Give them a listen and you’ll be glad that you did.