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Knick Knack News

Lonesome Shack gets a shout-out from Nine-Bullets podcast

The other night I was cleaning up the dump folder on my laptop and came across an image I’d titled, “Dad – cancer – the good times.jpg”. I probably stared at it for 20 minutes thinking about how absurd “cancer” and “the good times” being coupled seemed. Truth is, there were some good times post surgery but they were short lived, and only good when juxtaposed up against the inevitable outcome.

Not to get all livejournal and shit on y’all but needless to say, 2012 was a heavy year for me and the year, instead of letting up in the final month, just tightened the screws.

What does any of that have to do with a record? Little to nothing, but it does set the stage for one. I’ve said on numerous occasions that, for me, a good show can serve as Prozac or something along the lines. While watching Treme season 2 last month, I kept getting the feeling that I needed to find a bar that is too small, that has too many people in it for the air conditioning to keep up, and an over sized sound system battling a blues band that has every intention of pushing it to its limits.

Unfortunately, these do not exist in St. Petersburg, so Lonesome Shack, a beer from the fridge and some Bose Noise Cancelling headphones crackling under the pressure have served a worthy substitute….

- Nine

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Seattle Weekly Review of Lonesome Shack's new LP 'City Man'

"*Lonesome Shack, City Man (out now, Knick Knack Records, Recorded live at Cafe Racer a month before the tragic May 30 shootings, Lonesome Shack's driving country blues and psychedelic Americana reveal yet more versatility among the tight-knit Racer crew, a group of UW students and friends who play everything from free jazz to folk. Drummer Kristian Garrard and bassist Luke Bergman (who moonlight as guitar duo Thousands) take a backseat here to frontman Ben Todd's bluesy bawl and gritty guitar, and tracks like the driving opener "White Lightning" crackle with crowd chatter. Elsewhere, "Bad Luck" and "Mushin Dog" electrify with tightly percussive, roots-fueled rhythms. And that wailing, greasy sax on "City Man" is just perfect. GE (Fri., Nov. 30, JewelBox/Rendezvous)"

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Lonesome Shack releases 'City Man' on Knick Knack Records

Lonesome Shack City Man


October 2012 - Knick Knack Records released the live album, City Man on 12 inch 33 rpm vinyl, CD and digitally.  The album was recorded live to ½ inch tape one evening at the band’s favorite neighborhood bar Cafe Racer- where the band members originally met and held a weekly gig for 2+ years. The album is dedicated to the Cafe Racer family and the victims of the tragic shooting that took place at Racer a month after the recording was made. The album begins with “White Lightning” (CD trk 1), a driving riff set to a marching band rhythm, followed by the slow and lurking “Switcher” (CD trk 2), a cautionary tale of one who is quick to turn from friend to enemy. “Down and Alone” (CD trk 5) takes a lone guitar line and slowly builds it up to a heavy pulse. Side two fires off with a breakneck jam “Dwellers” (CD trk 6) then moves on to the sax infused title track “City Man” (CD trk 7), both haunted by the imagery of country living and the mixed curse of the city.

The address on songwriter Ben Todd's 2002 Driver License reads "Hwy 180 W South of SF Bridge, Alma, NM". This indeterminate location is where Lonesome Shack began. In New Mexico's Gila Wilderness, Todd hunkered down in the shack he built and studied the music of the American folk and blues lineage. In 2007 Todd joined up with drummer Kristian Garrard (Thousands) in Seattle and they released two LPs, one EP, and completed two west coast tours, two national tours, and a tour to Maine. With the recent addition of bassist Luke Bergman (Also a member of Thousands) the band combines the sounds of post-WWII electric country blues with a heavy groove that anchors them in the present.


Here's the video for the first single from 'City Man' called 'White Lightnin'

Lonesome Shack City Man

Lonesome Shack City Man

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Lonesome Shack's new Record 'City Man' previewed by Relix Magazine

September 2012 issue of Relix Magazine - Brian Robbins preview the latest release from Knick Knack Records artists Lonesome Shack

"It sounds like a cross between Robert Johnson going down to the crossroads and Sonny Rollins going up on the bridge. About 10 years ago, Ben Todd burrowed into the isolation of New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness with not much more than his guitar and a copy of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. Todd went into the experience as a veteran of the Seattle punk scene; he emerged from it as a serious bluesman. When he and jazz drummer Kristian Garrard happened to cross musical paths in 2007, magic happened and Lonesome Shack was born. Think Ginger Baker-meets-R.L. Burnside and you’re getting close to the greasy grit of the duo’s 2010 release Slidin’ Boa. And the addition of bassist Luke Bergman on Lonesome Shack’s upcoming City Man album infuses things with an even deeper, darker groove. What Cream did with rock and roll? That’s what Lonesome Shack is doing with electric country blues. “We’re definitely moving away from the traditional style and exploring more,” says Todd." 

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