Sonic Past Music announces the release of Jackdawg, the self-titled release from classic rock heroes John McFee (Doobie Brothers/Clover), Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) and the late Keith Knudsen (Doobie Brothers.) The never-before-released album includes 14 original tracks penned by McFee, Cook and Knudsen as well as two covers including Roky Erickson’s “Cold Night for Alligators” and Van Morrison’s classic, “Wild Night.”
After a great stint together in country-rock chart-toppers Southern Pacific, McFee, Cook and Knudson decided to carry on creating great music together and recorded the tracks at McFee’s Lizard Rock Studio in Solvang, CA. The songs and the band evolved from 50 years of experience in the music business and the belief that together they could come up with some great songs to showcase their musical roots.
Although the Jackdawg album was recorded in 1990, the songs remained in the vault for many years. After Keith Knudsen’s passing in 2005, John McFee and SonicPast Music’s label founder/owner and former Blues Magoos member Joey Stec started discussing releasing the tracks, as the label’s specialization is unreleased recordings by musicians who have been in successful bands.
In addition to the 14 original tracks, the band also covers Van Morrison’s, “Wild Night” and Roky Erickson’s “Cold Night for Alligators.” McFee played pedal steel on the original Morrison recording and all three Jackdawg members felt it would make a strong selection for the album. Although one of the most popular songs of the 70s, the album was recorded before the advent of the Internet and the original lyrics were a bit tough to find.
“It was hard to understand all the lyrics sung by Morrison,” notes Cook. “It took us about two weeks to come up with the correct version, but we pulled it together and it’s one my favorite tracks.”
“Cold Night for Alligators” is also another favorite of Cook’s. Stu produced tracks for Erickson, which were released on two albums, TEO (UK) and The Evil One (US). TEO received much critical acclaim and Erickson still includes most of the tracks in his live performances.
The other tracks are inspired by subjects as diverse as the lead singer from The Divinyls (“The Girl from Oz”), Keith Knudsen’s daughter (“Young Ones”), Creedence Clearwater Revival (“Bayou Rebel”) and The Beatles (“The Men Who Would Be King”).