I first heard about Damon and the Shitkickers many years ago out at Armstrong State University one day when I was talking to student Charles Hodge. I knew he had a number of different musical projects in the works, and I knew that he had a background in classical and jazz, so I was genuinely surprised — shocked even — when he mentioned that he was now playing with a country cover band.
I asked the name. Damon and the Shitkickers. It’s hard not to laugh when you hear that name. How serious could a band be with a name like that? (I wondered the same thing when I first heard the name Diarrhea Planet, and I was just as stupid that time.)
So I dropped by The Jinx for happy hour on a Saturday soon after that and knew immediately that Damon Mailand — a master luthier at Benedetto during the day — was a performer who could be finding gigs anywhere in the country, including (especially?) Nashville. Damon and the Shitkickers has been through all sorts of changes since those days, but Charles (whose fingers haven’t bled on stage in years) has been the constant presence just to Damon’s left at The Jinx — and at all the other events and stages that the band has played. Until tonight. Charles and Talia are headed west for new adventures — good for them, bad for us. His last show with Damon and the Shitkickers is tonight, 3/31.
Damon and the Shitkickers moved beyond covers a number of years ago — check out their album Short Cups and Long Nights — and their almost-every-Saturday happy hour sets have become part of the area scene. The band will continue for sure, and unsuspecting tourists who wander in next week won’t have any idea that one of the core members has been replaced.
But that’s how music goes — and how art goes, and time too. Here’s wishing Charles (sorry, can’t get used to calling him Charlie) the best.
Also, later on at The Jinx, The Train Wrecks return to celebrate the release of the vinyl version of their great new record We Roll On.
It’s a great full lineup: