Wheeler Walker Jr.

Wheeler Walker Jr.

Adam Chaffins

Mon, August 20, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Revolution Hall

Portland, OR

General Admission: $25 | $5 increase day of show

This event is 21 and over

Tickets are $25 | $5 increase day of show

To RSVP to the official Facebook event and for special pre-sale offers and passwords, click here.

Tickets are also available at the Revolution Hall Box Office or by calling 877-435-9849.

Wheeler Walker Jr.
Wheeler Walker Jr.
In a now-classic scene from the 1976 Academy Award Winning film Network, newscaster Howard Beale screams into the television camera, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” Beale -- struggling with declining ratings and just learning that he was about to lose his job – decides to let loose on national television after declaring that “life is bullshit.”

But instead of getting him fired (Beale’s goal), the outburst causes a ratings spike, and Howard Beale becomes a national hero for angry and frustrated Americans.

Many have compared this scene to the career trajectory of the new king of country music, Wheeler Walker, Jr. Wheeler moved to Nashville in 2000, with dreams of Garth Brooks in his head, confident that his golden voice and poetic songs would make him an instant star. Unfortunately, as Howard Beale noted, life is bullshit.

Wheeler’s first album – the unfortunately titled “No Love For the City” (his ode to preferring country life over city living) – featured a picture of Wheeler giving a thumbs down in front of the World Trade Center. Although the album was full of hard-driving, hook-laden honky-tonk, the record was released on 9/11/01 and had to immediately be pulled from store shelves. Of course, this mishap was not Wheeler’s fault... but the next decade of missteps certainly were: sleeping with record company presidents’ wives, burning down the women’s restroom at the Grand Ole Opry, and getting dropped by label after label for refusing to censor his music.

And then, in 2015, Wheeler had his Howard Beale moment: “Who says you can’t curse on a country album?” Well, a lot of people, but fuck ‘em... so Wheeler reached out to his old Kentucky pal Sturgill Simpson for the name of a producer who would let him record his music the way he wanted to: Sturgill suggested Grammy award winner Dave Cobb, who produced Simpson’s first two albums. A friendship was born, and Wheeler emptied out his bank account, wrote a check to Cobb, and the rest is history.

To say Wheeler Walker, Jr. was mad as hell and wasn’t gonna take it anymore is an understatement. A decade of failure in country music (and life) made its way into every track of Redneck Shit. Assuming correctly that no label in Nashville would release it, Walker created his own label and distributed the album through Nashville’s Thirty Tigers.

What came next was the stuff of Nashville legend. With no songs that the FCC would even allow on US airwaves, the album debuted at #9 on the Billboard Country album charts. (Because of its filthy content, Billboard also categorized the record as a “comedy” album, which still upsets Wheeler to this day. Nevertheless, the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Comedy Charts and ended up being the 2nd best-selling comedy album of 2016, even though Wheeler says, “This ain’t no fuckin’ comedy record... this is real life”).

Fans from across the country music spectrum flocked to Wheeler’s “don’t give a fuck” attitude. One of them – Nashville hitmaker Shane McAnally – even wrote a song with Wheeler for his follow-up.

Cut to 2017: With an army of Howard Beale-like fans, Wheeler released his new record, Ol’ Wheeler, out into the world...

The biggest story of Ol’ Wheeler is that everyone thought Redneck Shit was a one-note joke. But Ol’ Wheeler somehow manages to be even better than its predecessor. With more complex instrumentation – Cobb and the same backing band of session men from Redneck Shit are behind the new album – and more serious themes about life on the road and the expectations from being Nashville’s enemy number one, Wheeler has turned his life into filthy art...

And yes, in case you were asking, the new album is just as dirty. But so is the world around him. And as stores and websites across the globe boycott the record, it only makes Wheeler bigger. He’s bringing a hip-hop attitude to country music. One of his friends even referred to him as “Kanye Twitty.”
Adam Chaffins
Adam Chaffins
“I wanted to make sure it was ready, and it was me” Says Adam Chaffins of his upcoming solo project. Equally at home leading a band and playing a support role, Chaffins is one of those rare musicians who can always bring a unique musical voice to a project while simultaneously blending in to showcase the musicians he collaborates with. A native of Eastern Kentucky, the son of a coal miner and social worker, Chaffins grew up on Country Music Highway (Highway 23), surrounded by shrines to local heroes who’ve made their mark on American musical legacy.

Chaffins is no small town kid anymore, and has certainly had his share of experience on the road, touring for two years with Boston-based progressive acoustic group The Deadly Gentlemen, followed by two more years with Asheville-based bluegrass outfit Town Mountain. He’s played the Grand Old Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, Music City Roots PBS series, and such festivals as Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Pickathon, Merlefest, The Old Settler’s Music Festival, and GreyFox Bluegrass Festival.

Bluegrass wasn’t a straight path though. Chaffins played electric bass from the age of 12, but he was initially awarded a vocal scholarship studying opera. Though his vocal ability remains powerful and captivating, Opera was not ultimately where his passion lay. A school transfer to Morehead State University led Chaffins to pursue a jazz performance degree on bass. Throughout his time at school, he remained firmly rooted in the country and bluegrass music that had been such a part of his youth. “I remember searching for good cassette tapes at the flea market with my dad, that was always our big hobby together”, he says of his childhood. Upon graduating and moving to Nashville, he quickly found a home in the bluegrass scene, where his versatility as bassist, singer, and writer have made him one of the most sought after musicians in the city.

After sharing band songwriting duties for years, and winning a SESAC award for a co-write with GRAMMY nominated The Infamous Stringdusters, a solo project from Chaffins is a welcome treat. “ It’s simultaneously everything I’ve learned over these past years, and everything I’ve not had the chance to do yet musically.” If his previous work is an indication, we will all be lucky to hear what Chaffins hasn’t yet done.
Venue Information:
Revolution Hall
1300 SE Stark Street
Portland, OR, 97214
http://www.revolutionhallpdx.com/
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