House Whiskey will rock Bama Slam Saloon Saturday

BY KEN ROGERS krogers@dothaneagle.com | Source

House Whiskey, a country-rock band from Nashville, is headlining at the Bama Slam Saloon on Saturday night.

House Whiskey is Jesse Murphy, Michael Wilkes and Wally Montgomery.

“We started as songwriters and just met writing together,” said Murphy, the lead singer. “We kind of developed our sound for what is now House Whiskey. It’s three-part harmony, double-lead guitar and a whole lot of attitude.”

The attitude comes naturally for the band, especially for Murphy, the son of David Lee Murphy. While those sounds aren’t exact, Jesse acknowledges there are similarities with his famous father, a singer and songwriter.

“I definitely grew up around it for as long as I can remember,” the younger Murphy said. “He’d be taking me to school and I’d be listening to his demos and stuff. I think that’s helped shape my taste in music. I’ve gravitated toward an edgy, country-rock kind of vibe.

“I remember as a little kid listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Crowes and Tom Petty mixed in with my dad’s demos. Sometimes I didn’t know who was who. That’s kind of shaped my taste in music.”

House Whiskey has been together as a group about two years, but Murphy, Montgomery and Wilkes have worked together around five years.

“As a writer with your co-writers, you become very close, very fast,” Murphy said. “You’re sharing stories about yourself and trying to relate and trying to get on the same ground to write a song together. You can kind of get an idea what somebody’s about really soon.

“After I spent so much time with them, they both have played in really good rock bands for years. They’re both really good guitar players. I’m excited and happy to be working with these guys and excited to see what comes of it.”

Murphy said it’s a true collaborative process.

“We kind of just work on them all together,” he said of each song. “It’s so much fun. Sometimes Wally will bring in a killer guitar riff. I might have a song title that kind of fits that vibe. And we’ll start working on it together.

“Then Michael might come up with the signature lick for the song and we just write it all together. It’s always somebody bringing in something and somebody else has an idea that we bounce off and write the song.”

The group is in the process of releasing its first EP and the first song — I Quit Countin’ — is already out.

“We’re excited to get that out,” Murphy said. “Another one is coming in the next month or so. Brett Beavers (producer for Dierks Bentley) is working with us. He’s helping us bring our vision to life.”

Murphy said House Whiskey is trying to write music that could go on country radio, but that has “an edgy, gritty Southern rock kind of vibe.”

“It’s a fine line,” he said. “We’re trying to write music that’s true to us.”

House Whiskey has opened for The Charlie Daniels Band, Frank Foster and Lit. Murphy said those live performances showed the band the type of loyal fans they want to build.

“Any time we get to play for a rowdy crowd, that’s giving us energy back,” Murphy said. “I don’t know what it is, but our energy comes out times 10 when they give it to us. It’s everything when we’ve got a great crowd. I’m looking forward to Saturday night. I think it’s going to be fun.

“We’ve been liking going to Alabama and playing for the people down there. Seeing how these Alabama fans are so loyal and such great fans, we want to get down here more.”

Advance tickets are $10, $15 at the door.

Also at the Bama Slam Saloon this week, Ryan Waters Band is here Thursday and another Nashville up-and-comer, Kenton Bryant, performs Friday.