Birmingham Stages called The Ladies Of… a “Southern Supergroup,” and it’s true: when Jim Troglen (previously the guitarist for Birmingham outfit The Autumn Lords) founded this band in 2011, he assembled an impressive lineup of musicians who will be well-familiar to anyone who’s followed the region’s rock scene during the past 30 years. The core members are based out of Atlanta or Birmingham: vocalist/guitarist James Hall (Mary My Hope; Pleasure Club), bassist James Wahl (Promise the Ghost; Stone Cobra), and former Storm Orphans guitarist Mark Patrick and drummer Jack Massey, along with Brooklyn-based vocalist Jaz Jillette, while guitarist Sam Smithwick (Spunkadilly; Smithwick Machine) and bassist Roman Glick (Jackyl; Brother Cain) have also contributed songwriting or performing duties.
Given members’ diverse backgrounds and wealth of experience, it is perhaps unsurprising that this group’s sound is as uncategorizable as it is magical. Veering from bluesy glam to raw straight-up rock swagger, liberally interspersed with gospel, reggae, and even easy listening sensibilities, The Ladies Of… is unapologetically unpredictable. Each song explores a different genre, atmosphere, or lyrical form. As Troglen explains, “It’s like an incomplete map: leaving some of it blank lets us be unrestricted to a certain style.” The only thing that is consistent across every The Ladies Of… song is an unwavering commitment to strong and innovative songwriting.
“ This anarchy actually produces the finest and most amazingly rounded and cohesive set of songs that I’ve heard in a long while.”
“Hard rock, indie pop…that is groovy and funky, while at times heavy and hard-hitting.”
“The Ladies of incorporate their influences well into a compact but efficient package.”
The guitar Zen of an Alabama ‘rock poet’
Butch Walker’s most memorable concerts attended:
Butch Walker: Again, a tough one. In retrospect, the KISS concert was not the best show ever executed; it was a lot of smoke and mirrors. Some of the most memorable shows I think I can recall seeing were maybe:
Prince (at the Fox on the “7” Tour, mid 90’s)
James Hall and Pleasure Club (at Smith’s Olde Bar, back in the early 00’s)
Mark Eitzel (of American Music Club at Smith’s, can’t remember when but just him and an acoustic, sitting in a chair)
Elvis Costello (some random club in Hollywood, 6 years ago.)
The Dead Milkmen (The Chestnut Caberet in Philadelphia. I was subbing on guitar for a new wave band out of Rome, GA and we were opening. We were terrible. The Milkmen were even worse. But it was INCREDIBLE)