Is there any true semblance to a name? If there actually was, then no one would have given a rat’s arse regarding The Butthole Surfers. Throughout the Texan band’s existence between 1981 and the present, it’s toured from coast to coast, across the Atlantic, and then some. During that time, the group released 8 albums but hasn’t released any new material since 2001. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the members have fully removed themselves from music. Take bassist JD Pinkus as an example, performing, recording, and frolicking with like-minded individuals like the Melvins, Bad Livers, Helios Creed, etc. Surprisingly enough, they’re all but forgotten. Pinkus is set to release his new album Fungus Shui (Shimmy Disc/Joyful Noise Recordings) on August 20, 2021, his follow-up to 2017’s Keep Off The Grass, one he’s offered up is a performance of “very interesting selection of songs here featuring his cool banjo playing!” It isn’t far from the truth.
With Pinkus’ new album near the horizon, he’s already released the “Gittin It” earlier on, where not much is needed as he belts out how he’s “gittin it” over the sole instrumentation of his banjo. In all honesty, the single is magnificent, stripped-down, much like early Mule where P.W. Long could be found alone with his guitar. It gave listeners and naysayers an honest look into Pinkus, away from electrified instruments and performing with raw emotion. This leads now to the new single/video offered up in “Woke Up Dead.” It’s a colorfully animated video that just showcases Pinkus and his banjo, with backwardly looped recordings spitting up here and there.
Of the song itself, JD says, “Sometimes your lucky if all ya’ wake up with is the blues…. I wrote this one about that time I woke up dead.’ ‘Maxwell Sabastian captured that thing that goes on forever, that thing there are no words for… His interpretation is a beautiful celebration of this thing. I’m so very grateful for him sharing his mind and talents!’Blue Skies and Sunshine.