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Local Music Review: The Shakedown

02/05/2011 07h11 ● By Brian O

The Shakedown is rock music. 
The Shakedown is dance music. 
The Shakedown is the party.

These three newcomers to the South Texas music scene have only been playing together about six months, but they are already booked through the rest of the year. Some say their sound is like Kings of Leon, others say Black Keys, but band members look back farther, to bands of the 1960s like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix.

"I think we just like to play things that get people moving," said Steven James, lead singer and guitar player. "Once we get in a groove, if people are out there dancing, we'll drag the song out for another five minutes if people are feeling it."

All three members, including bassist David Davila and drummer Clint Sanders have played in other groups before. Davila, brings a tinge of Latin spice to The Shakedown, and is a wicked harmonica player. Sanders used to play drums in a heavy metal band, so he's got hard rock in his bones. It all began when Steven James posted a simple ad on Craigslist after moving to Corpus Christi from Austin. It read: If this is your first band, do not reply.

"I only wanted pros," he said. "I wanted players who have been around the block, know what they want and are ready to hit the ground running."

In just a few short months the guys wrote several hours worth of music, locking themselves inside their practice space, following every lick or riff that came out. They've got a demo that's been selling out at every show and are about to hit the studio for their first major album. The single "Never Come Down," is a crowd favorite, chanting the line: "I'm never coming down..." written at a time when Heath Ledger and DJ AM were chasing a high that eventually caught up with them, James said. The song’s title can also be found on koozies and t-shirts, which drummer Sanders prints during his day job as a graphic artist.

The Shakedown recently returned from a sold-out show in Austin, opening up 
for Bob Schneider at Antone's in front of a crowd of more than 600. "That was amazing," Davila said. "We've never played in front of so many people, but we killed it."

The band continues to branch out to other Texas cities but can regularly be found in Corpus Christi, playing clubs like Cassidy's, Dr. Rockit's, The Texan, House of Rock, Bombay and more. "Where ever we play, we just get up there and shake it down," James said.

In April The Shakedown has the following gigs scheduled: Friday April 1 – ARTWalk, Water Street Market 5:30pm to 8:30pm; Thursday April 21 – Cassidy's Irish Pub, 10pm to 2am; Saturday April 23 – The Texan, 10pm to 2am. You can find additional band information, photos and music by searching for “The Shakedown” on Facebook, or at “SJandTheShakedown” on Myspace.

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