SEE: Jerry Joseph – ‘Sugar Smacks’: tellin’ it like it is with The Drive-By Truckers

Jerry Joseph, photographed by Jason Thrasher

JERRY JOSEPH is a singer who’s been there, got the tee-shirt; hell, got the entire arm-sleeve tattoo.

He made his first steps into music after living a little on the wild side as a kid growing up in San Diego and, in order to quell his waywardness, his folks sent him to boarding school in … New Zealand, and he picked up a guitar.

His career took flight back in ‘81 with rock-reggae band Little Women, since when he’s been touring and releasing pretty much constantly, either under his own name or with The Jackmormons. 

And for his new album, The Beautiful Madness, which is out on August 21st, he has rustled the entire Drive-By Truckers line-up for his band. 

He’s teasing for his new album with a documentary lyric video for the song “Sugar Smacks”, which you can watch herein. 

The song is a full seven-minute, acutely observational diary of Jerry’s time touring the world with a documentary-making friend. It’s built around a punk-roots, autumnal riff that doesn’t let up, and underpins Jerry’s free declamation and sharp eye for life as it is in the raw.

He said of the footage used: “In 2010 my friend Justin Benoliel presented an idea to make a documentary about me. 

“My stipulation was that we travel to film it, so on Justin’s dime, we did tours of Southeast Asia and then the Middle East, and somewhere in there we fit in Europe, Mexico and the US. 

“While playing shows in Tel Aviv, the first Hamas rockets hit the city but we went ahead with our shows. That decision resulted in my being asked to come to Kabul to teach at an underground rock school. 

“That was the beginning of my NOMAD Music Foundation, which has since brought me to Kurdish Iraq twice to teach guitar to kids in the refugee camps.”

Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood – or for the purposes of this album, The Stiff Boys, said: “It might be the most punk rock song I’ve heard in twenty years or more.

“As a founding member of Drive-By Truckers, I place this track among my favorite moments of this band’s discography.”

Jerry Joseph’s The Beautiful Madness will be released by Décor Records on CD, double gatefold vinyl and digital formats on August 21st; pre-order yours here.

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