"Demon in My Head" from the album Joe Buck Yourself
"Planet Seeth" from the album Joe Buck Yourself
"I'm a fucking farm kid from Missouri and I don't know where I fit into any of this shit," says one-man band Joe Buck of the current state of rock music. "But I play harder than any of the big city people who are trying to be so hard ... and I can play beautifully, because I love Hank Williams and truly American music, too."
Born Jim Finkley, Buck, 45, rocks with a stripped-down, raw, no-nonsense style. Armed with a basic kick drum, a small stack of amps, and a large-sized hollow-body vintage guitar, Buck's been doing his solo thing increasingly more often in recent years. While his intensive solo work keeps him busy, inspired, and financially afloat, he still tours as the bassist with Hank III and Assjack. He just finished a recording session with Sean Wheeler of Cali rock band Throw Rag as well.
"I realized that I didn't want to waste any more time being in bands with fucking egomaniacal dickheads," he says of his various band experiences through the years. "I've worked my ass off, and I've usually ended up with nothing. I thought, 'If I can't do this on my own, I just don't wanna do it anymore.' It came out of necessity."
His live performance can be rough and raw, but at the heart of it is a respectful embrace of vintage country and rock 'n' roll. The raw/delicate balance is evident in the anthems and rockers on his independently released discs, Joe Buck Yourself Album and Gory Gory Hallelujah.
"Blues-based, punk, hillbilly ... it's all those things," he says of his current set. "I keep hearing these rockabilly references. To me Johnny Cash from the 1950s is the real rockabilly artist. My music doesn't sound like that, but it is derived from all that. My songs can be played like blues songs or country songs. I just choose to play them all loud and obnoxious, you know what I'm saying?" —T. Ballard Lesemann
Joe Buck Yourself shares the stage with The Defilers at the Black Cart (54 John St., 843-965-5254) on Wed. April 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 ($8 adv.). Visit www.joebuckyourself.com for more.