Country music has always been part of John Doe's musical wheelhouse. But it was something the veteran musician (X, the Knitters) and actor was wary of recording.
"People have been saying to me for 20 years I should make a country record, and I always thought it would be boring," says Doe (ne Duchac), 55. "I've got a good voice but not a really distinctive voice, not like Hank Williams or Tammy Wynette or Neko case. I thought if there was some sort of dripping Nashville backing to what I would do, it would be just dull."
But after performing with the Toronto roots band the Sadies at a festival in Canada last year, Doe got the idea that he could make something "alive and kickin' " -- which turned into "Country Club," a collaborative album that features versions of songs made famous by Wynette, Roger Miller, Johnny Cash, Ray Price, Kris Kristofferson, along with Bobby Bare's "Detroit City" and "It Just Dawned on Me," which Doe wrote with his ex-wife and X/Knitters bandmate Exene Cervenka.
"Detroit City" made the cut, Doe says, "because it's an amazing song. Everybody knows that chorus, and while it's a really popular country song, it's not 'Your Cheatin' Heart' or something. It works both inside and outside of that world."
Doe says another volume of "Country Club" could be in the offing in the future, and he's also working on some new material for X, with whom he'll be touring this summer (including a June 17 show at the Majestic Theater).
John Doe & the Sadies and Duende! perform Monday (May 11)in the Pike Room at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $13. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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