John Doe, The Sadies Rock The 'Country Club'
This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2009.
Los Angeles may not sound like home for a country-rocker, and for many years, country music only represented a minor twang in the music of the punk band X.
"I think everybody in the punk-rock world drew a line and said, 'This is now and that was then,' " the former X frontman John Doe says in a conversation with Terry Gross.
But even determined punkers don't just create a new musical vocabulary out of whole cloth.
"For us, pretty quickly, we started going back to pull from blues songs, and pull from country songs, and pull from old rock 'n' roll songs."
With this year's album Country Club, the punk veteran dove headlong into a genre he'd always listened to, but was never quite ready to make his own. The inspiration: a festival-stage collaboration with The Sadies, best known as the preferred back-up band for folk-rocker Neko Case.
On Country Club, Doe and The Sadies cover country classics by artists such as Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette and Willie Nelson; they contribute a few original tracks, too. John Doe and The Sadies join Gross in the studio for a conversation and live performance.
This interview was originally broadcast on May 19, 2009.
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