The Whiskey Daredevils–roots rock n roll with a punch…



When all the smoke clears there will be one band standing repping country punk.  Yes, The Whiskey Daredevils from Cleveland, Ohio!  

“We are America’s finest country punk band left standing.  You take all the stuff you like from country, punk rock, rockabilly, garage rock and surf and leave out all the unnecessary filler.  We are what’s left when it all gets mashed up together,” said vocalist Greg Miller.  “I think what we are trying to do is write music that we think is entertaining and means something to us.  Hopefully we find a few people along the way that are on the same wavelength.  We have had some noteworthy things happen along the way like creating 14 full length records, touring Europe a number of times, and opening up for some of our favorite artists like Willie Nelson, Southern Culture on the Skids, Cracker, Jason and the Scorchers, and so on.”

And the Whiskey Daredevils are a band to experience and dive into. They are true musicians and showmen/women featuring original music and keeping people on their dance feet as they deliver a great live show and equally great recorded material.  They include  Greg Miller (vocals) and Leo P. Love (drums); bass player Sugar Wildman (Lords of the Highway) and guitarist Hex Mattos (Bomb City Royals/Hillside Gamblers). While the Daredevils have been playing together since 2004, Mattos recently joined the band to replace original guitarist Gary Siperko .  Miller and Love have been playing together since 1990 when they were in the Cowslingers.  

The Whiskey Daredevils are on a mission to deliver real music with quality that comes from the heart and soul. They are fueled by the spirit that playing music that is true and genuine and still bears importance in this day in age should not be overlooked.  “The belief that real American roots music exists and is still important.  Also that it needs to be modern and not a freeze dried re-creation of something that happened in 1958.  Ohio is as legitimate a place for a band to be from as Nashville or New York City. I think we don’t reflect an era so much as take inspiration from the bands that got there first and then update that sound to what we like based on the mosaic of music we all listen to.  There is nothing that bores me more than a band playing a horribly dated 50s cover song like “Flying Saucer Rock N Roll’ or writing their own songs about switchblades, sock hops and drag racing a 58 Mercury.  You have to do what you know.  We soak in all the Midwestern weirdness around us and tell the stories we see out on the road.”  

The whiskey Daredevils have new material in the works and hope for a summer release which will be the first with Hector on guitar.  “ Our latest release is “American Songbook”, but we have since recorded a new one in Detroit with John Smerek that is mixed and ready to go.  It’s our first with guitarist Hector Mattos, and I am very enthusiastic about it.  Hector is a perfect fit for this band as his wheelhouse is the same sort of stuff we all listened to coming up.  But on top of that, he is musically curious as well and isn’t afraid to mix genres within a song.  Good willing we will be able to get a vinyl pressing of this out by the end of the summer.”

Mattos definitely brings a new edge to the band and sound says Miller.  “He’s a really great player and brings a great attitude to the band.  Sugar is like having a big smile on the stage.  Everyone loves Sugar because she is always having a good time playing and I think people can feel it.  Leo is in many ways the soul of the band.  I’ve been with that guy behind the drum kit since 1992.  He’s like a shaggy dog that wandered into my life and just stayed.  He’s like having a real live cartoon character with you at all times.”

“Personally I like to write songs and have them come to life with the help of the band, and become better than whatever my initial idea was in the first place, said Miller.  I am always hoping that these songs will connect with someone and have meaning, whether that means they have an improved drive to work or identify with a character in a song, or they just like to drink some beers and feel the music hit them in a club.  It’s always nice when someone notices what you are doing.”

And for all the new music that dominates the airwaves these days there is something special and true about what you get from the Whiskey Daredevils and makes their music rock above the rest.  If you are not in tune with this Miller warns, “It’s a tough world right now for rock music.  It reminds me of the late 70s with disco and disconnected industry musical acts that feel more like “product” than artistic statements.  Sometimes I think that playing the music we do is like being a  traditional jazz player in 1986.  It might be slightly out of fashion at the moment, but it’s always in style.”   

So get on out and see the Whiskey Daredevils live. Their music packs a shot like a big shot of bourbon and leaves you feeling great with a big sigh! They put on a great show and are well worth your time and attention.  You can also find them online at the traditional places including Facebook and Amazon and their web site  Get on their mailing list and get out and see what they are all about.  You won’t be disappointed.  “If you are reading this and you like real people playing real instruments singing about weird things that happen in Ohio, we are worth a shot.  I explain it like Jerry Garcia used to about the Grateful Dead.  We are like licorice.  Not everyone likes licorice, but people that do really, REALLY like it.” (click image)

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