By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Stockslager admits it's hard to abandon the old favorites. "We've got a small mountain of songs waiting there, but you get your teeth in the old stuff and it's hard to get away from those," he says. And that's fine. It's important their teeth stay in them. The King Bucks—these guys who, as Stockslager says, play poker after shows while listening to the Possum and "weepy honk-tonky stuff" from other legends, so you know they're for real—have officially removed "cover band" from the shit list and restored a belief that the "old C&W standard" could be created in present times.
Hell, they've even freshened the vaudeville-like style of the old shows when, as Stockslager says, "June Carter would come out and tell the crowd a thing or two." It often comes in the form of what he calls their secret weapon: Joe Butcher. "He works all this blue material in between our stuff with five-minute rants," Stockslager says. "To me, it's classic. It's irreverent and fun." And he's right.
Still, there are rules, and here are King Buck Joe Butcher's regulations for being in a Dallas cover band, or this one, anyway:
1. Band members should be good-looking. Nobody wants to be forced to look at unattractive people for any length of time. Good looks trump actual talent any day.
2. At least one guy in the band should have a mustache. Not a goatee either. Those are for losers. A "soul patch" will get you kicked in the nards.
3. Blinding and/or maiming an audience member with a fire extinguisher (and subsequently ending their modeling career) is acceptable, but only once, and only if your name is Keith Killoren.
4. Never accept hog meat or homemade drugs as payment in lieu of actual cash.
5. Do not have sex with ANY musician, EVER, especially if they are in The King Bucks, as their virile seed will impregnate you just from looking at it, and the "devil baby" you give birth to will be the least of your worries.