Jonny Two Bags, better known as Jonny Wickersham, guitarist for Social Distortion, is releasing his debut album, Salvation Town on April 1st on Isotone Records. You would be surprised this roots- rock album was created by the guitarist for the Southern California punk-rock institution, Social Distortion.
Shortly after the album release, Jonny Two Bags will be joining us in Philadelphia to the Theatre of Living Arts on Wednesday, April 23rd to play Salvation Town. Jonny Two Bags will be sharing the stage with Chuck Ragan and the Camaraderie.
A diverse array of talent that spans the musical spectrum was enlisted for the recording. Revered singer-songwriter Jackson Browne shares vocals with Wickersham on “Then You Stand Alone,” while David Lindley, whose guitar work graced several of Browne’s classic ’70s albums, contributes to four tracks. Los Lobos’ multi-instrumentalist David Hidalgo and his sons David Jr. and Vincent join in on “Wayward Cain” and super-sideman Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Eric Clapton, k.d. lang, Dave Alvin) also appears on guitar. The drum chair is filled by Pete Thomas, a mainstay of Elvis Costello’s bands The Attractions and The Imposters. Guest vocalist Gaby Moreno (recent Latin Grammy Award winner as Best New Artist) sings on “Avenues.” Other vocal guests include Julie Miller (wife and collaborator of Buddy Miller) and backup singers Terry Evans and Arnold McCuller, best known for their work with Ry Cooder and James Taylor. Wickersham’s colleagues in Social Distortion, keyboardist Danny McGough and bassist Brent Harding, join on a few tracks while Austin accordion luminary Joel Guzman and bassist/punk kingpin Zander Schloss (Weirdos, Circle Jerks, Thelonious Monster) round out the lineup.
Salvation Town carves out new stylistic terrain for Wickersham, who joined Social Distortion in 2000 after the untimely death of his friend Dennis Danell.
The material reflects a multiplicity of musical styles and influences. Wickersham’s father, a professional musician who played folk, rock ’n’ roll, and country-rock, instilled in him a love of Southern California musicians like Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon and Linda Ronstadt. Wickersham’s own taste in contemporary performers runs the gamut from Lucinda Williams and Ryan Adams to Calexico. Writing and recording this album of streetwise and sometimes painfully frank songs about a life lived with “one foot in the gutter and one foot kicking in the door to Heaven” proved to be somewhat of a cathartic experience.
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