After a 14-year, 11-album run, The Cowslingers called it a day in 2004 and frontman Greg Miller resigned himself to a normal — albeit music-less — life. But drummer Leo P. Love and Miller’s bassist brother Ken showed up months later with an enticing offer to tune up the tour van and revisit their AltCountry/Punkabilly roots with two new guitarists as Whiskey Daredevils. They haven’t looked back.
For the first four years, the Daredevils were a quintet featuring guitarists Bobby Lanphier and David Bowling, but both departed the band in 2008 for gigs in Nashville, Tenn. and Buffalo, N.Y., respectively. That same year, former Rocket from the Tombs/Mofos guitarist Gary Siperko joined the band, having never played any sort of Americana music prior to his Daredevils membership; Siperko’s subsequent trial by fire has turned him into an impressive Twang Rock six-stringer.
A little over five years ago, Ken Miller relocated to Austin, Texas. His bass slot was filled by Sugar Wildman, formerly with Lords of the Highway, and the Whiskey Daredevils have been in that stable configuration ever since. Well, stable by its own yardstick.
Entering their 13th year as a band, the Whiskey Daredevils have hit the road and the studio with a frequency and abandon that rivals their previous incarnation. Back in November, the quartet released its blisteringly excellent 10th album, The Good Fight, and it continues to share stages and dust rafters with friends like Southern Culture on the Skids, Dick Dale, The Godfathers, Brian Setzer, Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and anyone willing to take the chance of being blown off the stage.
Nearly 20 years ago, in an interview for a Cowslingers story, Greg Miller told me his thoughts on the band’s Country/Punk dichotomies with this bit of wisdom: “No matter what we do, speed and volume have always been our friends.” That same tattoo would easily fit on the shoulder meat of Whiskey Daredevils.
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