Cletus Got Shot


cletus-crop2Visit Official Site

Started around a bottle of whiskey in the summer of 2007, Arkansas-based acoustic/punk trio Cletus Got Shot has been growing and polishing their sound at hundreds of shows around the Midwest.  With passionate songs ranging from slow burning emotional intensity to raging calls to action, Cletus Got Shot has been bridging the gap between folk protest songs and punk rock rebellion.

Cletus Got Shot is a three piece band consisting of Adam Cox on guitar, Nathan Miller on mandolin, and Mark Landry on the home-made gas tank bass.  Each member sings, and Adam and Nathan wrote all of the album songs, and are occasionally known to cover a surprisingly varied selection of songs; including gospel, country, and classic union organizing songs.

The raw energy of Cletus Got Shot performing live is truly a sight to behold.  This may look like bluegrass, but it sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard … yet.

Adam Cox plays guitar and sings, and also writes the majority of the songs.  His style of guitar playing is very percussive, which is not surprising, when you consider that he also has been known to play drums in punk bands.  Adam has a very powerful voice, and it easily cuts through both the fastest barn-burner and the slowest ballad.  His lyrical hooks seem simple at first, but not easily forgotten.  Adam plays a guitar handcrafted in Arkansas by Bayard Guitars.

Nathan Miller is a native son of Arkansas who brings a strong tradition of folk style singing and mandolin playing into the mix.  He comes from a family that maintains strong ties to their community and strives to pass on local lore through community picking parties.  Nathan plays a custom mandolin built in Missouri by Big Muddy Mandolin.

Mark Landry sings and plays a hand-built upright bass he crafted from a gas tank and native Arkansas hardwoods.  He plays slap bass in the Rockabilly style, and along with Adam’s guitar playing, the lack of a drummer is no oversight.

The Jankity Tankity joined the band in the spring of 2009.  Mark’s previous bass (nicknamed “The Fat Girl”) was showing her age.  Or making her age known with various cracks, deformations, and general crappiness.  After a particularly ominous crunching noise during a set break, Adam suggested Mark build his own bass.  The original plan was a plywood box with a neck, but Adam salvaged a Saab gas tank from the junk pile at a local shop, and the process began.  Mark and Nathan had been cutting firewood, but instead began looking for the perfect piece of black walnut from which to craft a bass neck.  When the tree was located, Mark began the work of shaping the neck down, a very precise process which involved misusing a chainsaw as a crosscut/planing/rasp for roughing out the face.  Most of the final shaping was done by hand with various planes, rasps, and sandpaper.  The fingerboard was fabricated from an old piece of oak found in a barn, and has a very hard knot right in the slapping “sweet spot.”  The tuners are p-bass style tuners from Ebay, and the strings are the fancy weed whackers you can get on Ebay also.  Total materials invested amount to under $100.  The final result?  You’ll have to hear it to believe it!