Whiskey Shivers
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Whiskey Shivers

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Americana Bluegrass

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The members of Whiskey Shivers can turn any occasion into a hootenanny. Case in point: On a Thursday night on the patio of the downtown Taco Cabana -- of all places -- they are rolling cigarettes, drinking cheap margaritas and raisin' Cain like it's a midnight ramble at Levon Helm's barn. "Everyone tags us as bluegrass, but we're not really good enough," cracks washboard player Joe Deuce. "It's trashgrass -- just rock'n' roll, dirty and fast," Adds upright bassist Andrew VanVoorhees: "There's no difference between the band and the crowd, because we're playing for ourselves. There's no filter, no pretension."

That's certainly true in regards to Whiskey Shivers' on-stage antics. The band, which is rounded out by Bobby Fitzgerald on fiddle and lead vocals and Evan Heidtmann on banjo, are the barefoot bandits of the city's roots scene. They win over local audiences from Jovita's to Scoot
Inn by stompin' and hollerin' through fiery neo-traditionals, often without
the use of demon electricity.

Whiskey Shivers owes much of its early success to the music video for
"Gimme All Your Lovin'," which portrays the band as a vertical human centipede. The illusion was created by basically having the members lying head to waist on a specially designed wooden plank. Filmed last
May in a warehouse, the video has been viewed more than 300,000 times on YouTube, after being plugged by Ryan Seacrest and hotly debated on social news site Reddit, due to its controversial ending (think Sweeney Todd).

The band's second full-length, Batholith, a raucous jaunt with songs about Extreme Makeover: Home Edition ("XHM Blues") and drunk-dialing helped place the group at the forefront of the new folk revival. A split 7-inch single with local contemporaries Hello Wheels is already in the works, along with an album sampler with producer Matt Andrews, best known for his work onthe O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

"It's got a real raw nature to it; it,s very transparent," Fitzgerald says. 'You get caught up in that rhythm." For Whiskey Shivers, it's all about the bare necessities, and the band preaches how it practices. Heidtmann sums up their philosophy: "We try to play like we're at practice -- barefoot and scantily clad."

-- A. Powell - Austin Monthly


I don’t pretend to be a bluegrass expert. I also don’t pretend to be entirely sober as I write this. But somehow, I think that Whiskey Shivers would approve of both of those conditions. In their recent album, Batholith, they tear through 11 songs in 28 minutes with the energy of a punk band. The only thing is that this is bluegrass through and through – banjo, guitar, stand-up bass, violin, and those high-and-lonesome harmonies. The energy is infectious, and you can’t help but enjoy the hell out of yourself while listening to this record.

First, the latter. Whiskey Shivers is a band that clearly supports getting loose and crazy. “Drunk Dial” not only contains some of the most romantic lyrics ever (“you’re the kind of girl I’d like to drunk dial”), but also an entertaining spoken-word section featuring a police officer, a school bus, and a guy named Stefon. “Wookie Boogers” expresses the singer’s dismay with heroin, but wholeheartedly endorses marijuana (though I still can’t figure out how to make sense of the chorus, “If you can’t treat the dog / treat the handler / you’ll be ridin’ high / and rollin’ free” – somebody please explain this to me). With songs like this, it might be easy to dismiss Whiskey Shivers as just another drugged-up newgrass band, but their sound is more than that.

Now I know I said I’m not a bluegrass aficionado, but these guys are legit musicians. And a song like opener “Old Home Place” is classic bluegrass of the highest order. The lyrics have the regret and nostalgia that seems requisite in the best of the genre. “Salt Creek” demonstrates the extent of their instrumental chops as the music gradually speeds up over the course of the song until it’s a manic hoedown that would challenge even the most experienced square dancers. Ultimately, they incorporate all the best of various bluegrass subgenres into an exciting whirl of old-timey music that can appeal to even the most casual fan. If you have any proclivity toward bluegrass, please check out Whiskey Shivers. They’ll be playing tomorrow night at 8p.m. at Schatzelein on South First, or at 11:30 at the Slappa da Bass showcase at the Hole in the Wall. These are busy guys. Or you can check out all of Batholith at their bandcamp site. - ovrld.com


"The band Whiskey Shivers releases an unusual music video to their song ‘Give Me All Your Lovin’ where they channel a human centipede. The band’s ultra country singing and bango playing is actually really good; however the music video, in lack for better words, freaks me out!
The lead singer is the head of the cenipede, followed by the rest of his band members making up the rest of his body, popping their heads out every now and then for background vocals. Although the music video may be a little over the top, the band has gotten their name out in the open and have grabbed the attention of viewers.
But may I just say, that ending is creepy!!!
Check out the ful video of the ‘Human Centipede’ and let us know what you think!!!"
- Ryan Seacrest


"Whiskey Shivers would've been an ideal replacement for Old Crow Medicine Show at the 2011 Austin City Limits Music Festival (we're stuck with Electric Touch instead). The local folk ramblers boast a similar barn-burning aesthetic and, thanks to posts by Ryan Seacrest and attention on Reddit, the band's first video has gone viral." - Austin Chronicle


"You see what I mean? The YouTube video was done by the band Whiskey Shivers, whom I've definitely got to give some props to on a wonderful music performance of their song "Gimme All Your Lovin' " and directed by Rob Wadleigh. You can check out more about the band and their music by going to their website here." - CBS News


You may have never heard of Whiskey Shivers, but as of today, you're never going to hear the end of them. The band has put out a new video Gimme All Your Lovin, in which the guys are all connected, sort of in a human centipede way, while playing their instruments and feeling the love from the ladies.
But the real twist comes at the end. It's unexpected, shocking and could have several different meanings behind it. We won't spoil it for U, only invite U to watch the video (above) and then let us know what U thought of it.
Ch-ch-check it out! - Perez Hilton


"This is crazy-assed Redneck music with a twisted music video that turns dark as the deepest night right at the end..." - FHM Magazine


“Awwwwyeaaahhhhahahaa!!” If you could package Whiskey Shivers into one common sound, that’d be it. The five-piece bluegrass-from-hell outfit proved a relentless bunch at their hootenanny of a CD release show, hammering washboards, flinging upright basses, and chirping about the amount of wax in Bobby’s mustache. Whatever the eccentricity, the Shivers nearly blew the roof off the Scoot Inn this round, as dozens upon dozens of Austinites who almost threw out their backs two-stepping at hyper speeds could most certainly attest. - Luke Borders


Just who are the Whiskey Shivers? Are they “trashgrass” or “alt-country?” Why do they play bopping, hillbilly songs about the Mario brothers? Who are these guys?

- Drew Edwards


Discography

"Monster Hawg" LP self released, 2010
"Batholith" LP self released, 2011
"Friends Do Things Together" split 7in with "Hello Wheels," self released 2012
"Rampa Head" LP self released 2012

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Bio

Hatched in the twilight months of ought nine, these five young men came from all corners of the US looking to do one thing: knock the dust off roots music.

A freewheelin', trashgrassin', folk tornado, the Whiskey Shivers take traditional instrumentation, soak it in gasoline and send it into outer space. Breakneck speeds, killer grooves and impeccable musicianship: it's enough to make Bill Monroe himself do a double-take as he spins in his grave.

With upright bass, fiddle, washboard, banjo, guitar, and reasonably priced merchandise, Whiskey Shivers adds a fine layer of grit on top of the hard-driving rhythms of traditional bluegrass. They've been called everything from "trashgrass" to "hardcore roots" to "crazy-assed redneck music" -- whatever the words, the meaning is the same: Whiskey Shivers brings the house down.