As 2012 draws to a close, we'll be looking forward to the 2013 and spotlighting 13 Phoenix bands that will be making a mark on the Southwest throughout the new year. Lauren Wise brings us this look at I Was Told There'd Be Whiskey, a rootsy rock 'n' roll outfit that incorporates elements of punk, country, and blues into its addicting sound.
I Was Told There'd Be Whiskey didn't start out as a serious act, but it didn't take long for the band's mix of punk and country to clean up its act.
In early 2011 Mickey Kawa (guitars, vocals), Chris Stylen (guitar), Kevin Shumway (bass), and Zach Shipp (drums) started goofing around, but when they were offered a show in April, they had to quickly write enough songs for a full set.
What they came up with works. Accented by cowbell and tambourine, knotted velveteen guitar, and throaty, whiskey-soaked vocals that blend country and punk, I Was Told There'd be Whiskey falls in line with like-minded genre miners like Drive by Truckers, Against Me!, Wilco, and The Gaslight Anthem.
They shine on their debut, self-titled LP, but do so even more in a live setting, where their ramshackle punk rock roots simmer under the rootsy arrangements.