Jr. Gone Wild ready to rock the Owl with new album “Still Got the Jacket”


Jr. Gone Wild  is excited to have a new CD “Still Got the Jacket,” coming out in November and about returning to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge on Saturday.


Jr. Gone Wild return to Lethbridge, Oct. 16. Photo submitted

“ We’re just excited to play anywhere, said frontman Mike McDonald.


“ We’re stoked to have a new album out that will bring us out of the  reunion band category and into the  more relevant category. So we’re excited to to do the work to support it,” McDonald continued.


 They sat down together in lead guitarist/ steel guitarist Steve Loree’s Nanton studio to record the new music in summer 2020.


 The Edmonton country punk pioneers emerged out of  Edmonton’s eclectic alternative rock  scene in the early ’80s which included the likes of SNFU.


 They were active from 1983-1995, but reunited about nine years ago. They released a single “Barricades,” which is on the new CD and recorded a countrified cover of SNFU’s “Cannibal Cafe’ for a still unreleased SNFU tribute CD.


“ It still hasn’t been released, so we weren’t sure whether to put it on this CD,” he said.


 The 16 track CD includes a note perfect of Chilliwack’s  “Fly at Night.” 


“I think it’s a little faster than the original. But I’m almost too afraid to listen to the original to check,” McDonald said.


“We had that idea back on “Too Dumb To Quit,” which Chilliwack’s Bill Henderson produced.  We talked about recording it but never recorded it, but we revisited the idea again for this album. We talked to Bill and sent to he track to him in his studio on Salt Springs Island. So he has this little guitar duet with Steve Loree at the end of the song,” he said.

The CD also includes covers of the  Beat Farmers’ “Southern Cross” and  even a cover of Paul Revere and the Raiders’“Him or Me (What’s it Going to Be?).


“Steve brought in a list of covers, and that was on it, so we said, sure, let’s try it,” he said.

 Jr. Gone Wild’s drummer Larry Shelast passed away from a heart attack in 2019 as the band was beginning pre-production for the album, so  McDonald’s nephew Quinton Herbert picked up the sticks in his stead to reinvigorate the rhythm section.


“Quinton grew up with our music. He wasn’t even born when we released our last album. But he already knew all of our songs, so we didn’t have to teach him them and that saved us six months work,” McDonald said.


Shelast’s drumming is on “Fool’s Errand.”


“It’s got his shuffle beat on it. We recorded that nine years ago,” he said, noting there were some technical issues that producer Steve Loree had to overcome to get Shelast’s drum track to work.


“It was recorded on older equipment, so there were some synch issues, but Steve figured it out. He’s a brilliant engineer, McDonald said.


 They released “Barricades” a few years ago, but decided to re-record it for the album. 


 McDonald took his time writing the songs for the album.




“There was a time when I’d write 30 songs for an album. But I couldn’t do that this time. I’ve got a job and a family. So I only brought the songs to the band when I was 100 per cent confident in them,” he said.


“Steve was getting frustrated with me,” he said, adding the band took their time recording “Still Got the Jacket.”


“For most bands, their first album is the result of several years work. We’re not a new band, but this CD is the result of nine years of work,” he said

“It was just the four of us playing. Usually a record company is there with their ideas. They would have probably trimmed the CD down to 10 songs. But there was nobody there to say no to us. So here’s a 16 song CD,” he said.


“When they Clash did London Calling, they were able to experiment and do what they wanted,” he observed.


Bassist Dove Brown sings “She’s Gone to California to Find Herself.”


“ We can’t have  a Jr. Gone Wild song without a Dove Brown song,” he said.

 The CD is a perfect mix of up tempo punk music, mixed with countrified licks, and a whole lot of rock and roll with just the right amount of twang.


They are looking forward to playing the Owl Acoustic Lounge.

“We don’t just want to play the new album, but we will play a lot of it. I’ve put together a good set that includes about half of it and a lot of older songs. It will be a fun night and there will be a lot of energy,” he said adding they may even try to break out  ‘Cannibal Cafe.”


“ We haven’t played it  for a while. But we’re rehearsing tomorrow so we may try it,” he chuckled.


“ Jr. Gone Wild play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Saturday, Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door or through Eventbrite. All money raised will be donated to SAGE Clan.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 October 2021 14:57 )