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Home Local Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys: Nasty Alt-Country

Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys: Nasty Alt-Country

Madison's Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys put a new twist on nasty underground country. The title of their new album “Taking the “O” Out Of Country” may raise a few eyebrows, but the lyrics are what set them apart from the dreaded manufactured Nashville sound. Nellie and her band came of age playing in various punk bands and that DIY vibe comes through in their performance.

At the band's recent CD release party, Nellie dressed in a purple hoop skirt and freshly cut hairdo, using her sweet powerful voice to keep the audience transfixed, while the Hellbound Honeys kept the old-school country sound intact. A sonic combination that creates authenticity few Madison bands can muster.

If Tammy Wynette and GG Allin wrote lyrics together they might come up with songs like “This Pussy Ain’t Lickin’ Itself” and “Cunt of My Dreams.” The cover of Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City” sets the mood for a night of good whiskey and cigarettes.

It’s not too often we get excited about a country band. Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys are unique in Madison as they’ve managed to combine real country chops with an anti-establishment attitude that has absolutely nothing to do with the crap you hear on the radio. We found the band on YouTube several months ago and we’re blown away by one of their originals called “Up, Down, Repeatedly,” a nice ditty about a woman knifing her boyfriend.

Somehow you just know by listening to them that their record collection contains Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson records along with The Clash and The Ramones. The band has only been together for a year and the future looks bright. If you get the chance, check them out before some cutting edge Nashville producer steals them away from Madison.

Nellie Wilson & the Hellbound Honeys are:

Nellie Wilson - Bass, Vocals
Dancin' Doc Franklin - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Rusty Shackleford - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Jed - Drums

How did the band got together?

Nellie Wilson - Our old guitarist, Rusty Shackleford, and I started writing songs in November of 2009. We knew we wanted to do good country. Something along the lines of Hank Williams, Sr. but with a naughty twist to suit our personalities. We also knew we wanted to be in a band with like-minded people and set out to find them. Enter Dancin' Doc Franklin and Jed, two friends who we knew would be down for anything.

When was your first gig?

Dancin' Doc Franklin - Fri. Jan. 8th, 2010 at the High Noon Saloon with the Getaway Drivers.

Nellie - It was an early show which always gets me in trouble liquor-wise, but it was a good first show!

Someone must like Willie Nelson. How did you come up with the name Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys?

Nellie - I like Willie Nelson just fine and all, but I'm not a huge fan. I just came up with the name and loved it. Hellbound Honeys came later. We wanted to do something with Hellbent, but weren't sure what. Rusty liked Hellbound better and Honeys came because of my love of alliteration.

You just finished a small tour of the Midwest. What was the audience reaction to the new album?

Doc - Good, but its just as fun coming into a show where people know what to expect as it is to play a show to an innocent audience who a minute into the set get caught off guard by "cunt" and laugh and then get roped in.

Jed - I agree with Doc's answer here. I thought it went over pretty well at every show, but it was the first time I got a little nervous before shows in this band, being in front a new crowd in a new city not knowing how they would react. That went away pretty quickly once we started playing though.

Nellie - I think with "funny" music it's hard not to be a crowd pleaser. I mean, that's part of the reason we write funny songs. The funny draws them in and then if they buy the album and really listen to it they can appreciate the song-writing and our musical skills.

Lyrically the songs are like Tammy Wynette meets GG Allin. You must all have some kind of brush with punk bands in your past?

Doc - My first "band" was a punk duo and i've never left that entirely behind me.

Jed - Pretty much every other band i've been a part of until just recently has had major punk influences. Also, this is probably the most accurate description of our lyrical content I've heard.

Nellie - My first band outside of the family band was a pop-punk band and from there I spent five or six years in a grungy/punk girl band. We all definitely have our punk influences and are starting to embrace them a bit more in the band.

What are the band’s future plans?

Nellie - We're just taking things as they come. We started writing new songs while on tour so another album is definitely in our future. I personally want to take this band as far as it can go.

Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys - This Pussy Ain't Lickin' Itself

Nellie Wilson and the Hellbound Honeys - Fist City

 

Rock of the Arts

Club Crawl

Bleachers
w/ Joywave,
Night Terrors of 1927
Majestic Theatre
Tue, March 31

Belle and Sebastian
w/ Honeyblood
Capitol Theater (venue change)
Sat, April 4

The Pines
w/ Hayward Williams
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 4

Ultimate Painting
w/ Heaters
The Frequency
Mon, April 6

Polica
w/ Pony Bwoy
Cactus Club (Milw)
Tues, April 7 (sold out!)

FOXYGEN
w/ Alex Cameron
The Sett - Union South
Fri, April 10 (Free!)

Joe Pug
w/ Field Report (solo)
High Noon Saloon
Fri, April 10

Reptar
w/ Icky Blossoms
The Frequency
Fri, April 10

Dolores
w/ Mutts,
Cowboy Winter
& Little Legend
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 11

Mr. Gnome
w/ Bron Sage
The Frequency
Sat, April 11

Twin Shadow
w/ Erik Hassle
Majestic Theatre
Tue, April 14

Kodak to Graph
w/ Big Wild,
Obeson
The Frequency
Wed, April 15

Chuck Prophet
& The Mission Express
w/ Nick Brown
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 15

Shana Falana (NYC), 
w/ Modern Mod,
Oh My Love
Mickey's tavern
Thu, April 16 (Free!)

The Soft Moon
w/ Noveller
The Frequency
Fri, April 17

PELE
w/ Golden Donna
Cactus Club (Milw)
Sat, April 18

Diarrhea Planet
w/ Lee Bains
& the Glory Fires,
Fire Retarded
High Noon Saloon
Wed, April 22

Six Organs of
Admittance
w/ Elisa Ambrosia
The Frequency
Wed, April 22

Sufjan Stevens
w/ Little Scream
Riverside Theater
Thu, April 23

Hiss Golden Messenger
w/ Phil Cook (Megafaun)
High Noon Saloon
Thu, April 23 

Max Jury
w/ SALES,
Bonzie
The Frequency
Thu, April 23 

JAMES MCMURTRY
w/ Max Gomez
High Noon Saloon
Friday, April 24

Lord Huron
w/ Leon Bridges
Pabst Theater
Sat, April 25

Caroline Smith
w/ Vic and Gab
High Noon Saloon
Sat, April 25

Rhiannon Giddens
w/ Bhi Bhiman
Capitol Theater
Mon, April 27

Hurray For The
Riff Raff
w/ Daniel Romano
High Noon Saloon
Thu, April 30

Speedy Ortiz
w/ Krill, 
Two Inch Astronaut
The Frequency
Fri, May 1

The Replacements
w/ TBA
Eagles Ballroom (Milw)
Sat, May 2

Revelry Fest
w/ Chance the Rapper,
The Chainsmokers,
Alunageorge, Mick Jenkins,
Nick Hakim + More!
Library Mall
Sat, May 2 

Death Cab for Cutie
w/ The Antlers
Riverside Theater
Mon, May 4

Vetiver
w/ Eric D. Johnson
The Frequency
Thu, May 7

Bop English
(from White Denim)
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Fri, May 8

Pianos Become The Teeth
w/ Loma Prieta,
Gates
Cactus Club (Milw)
Fri, May 8

Tame Impala
w/ Mini Mansions
Riverside Theater
Thu, May 14

Dan Deacon
w/ Prince Rama,
Ben O’Brien
High Noon Saloon
Fri, May 15

METZ and FIDLAR
High Noon Saloon
Sat, May 23

Surfer Blood
w/ TBA
The Frequency
Sun, May 24

ST. VINCENT
w/ Sarah Neufeld
of Arcade Fire
Orpheum Theater
Tue, May 26

Built to Spill
w/ Wooden Indian
Burial Ground
High Noon Saloon
Tue, May 26

Archie Powell
& The Exports
w/ Heavy Looks,
Little Legend
The Frequency
Fri, May 29
 
Royal Blood
w/ Mini Mansions
High Noon Saloon
Sun, May 31

Father John Misty
w/ TBA
Pabst Theater
Sun, May 31

CJ Ramone 
& Shonen Knife
w/ TBA
Cactus Club (Milw)
Tues, June 9

Kate Tempest
w/ TBA
High Noon Saloon
Mon, Jun 15

Iceage
w/ Low Life
High Noon Saloon
Sun, Jun 21

Eaux Claires
Music & Arts Festival

feat. Bon Iver,
The National, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens
+ more
Foster Farms - Eau Claire
July 17 & 18

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