TVD Radar: Call Me Animal: A Tribute to the MC5 2LP in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | 20% of proceeds go to fund Jail Guitar Doors, providing guitars to the incarcerated.

On Friday February 2nd the rock ’n’r oll world lost a true giant with the passing of “Brother” Wayne Kramer, founding member and guitarist of the legendary Detroit band the MC5. Though the band never had any huge hits, they are widely considered to be every bit as influential to the birth of punk and modern rock as The Velvet Underground or The Stooges. The band was known not only for their music which fused R&B with hard rock but also their activism and electrifying live performances.

On Black Friday 2023 Saustex Records released Call Me Animal: A Tribute to the MC5. Though never intended as a send-off for Brother Wayne, his untimely passing makes its recent release feel even more serendipitous. The album conceived by Memphis-based guitarist, bandleader and producer Joey “Joecephus” Killingsworth was several years in the making with his band/ collective Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre and his Tupelo, MS-based production partner Dik LeDoux. Kramer himself participated in the project, laying down a smoking version of “Human Being Lawnmower” with Jello Biafra.

And as is the case with the Joecephus and the GJM’s other tribute albums this one has a charitable aspect with 20% of net purchases made via Bandcamp benefitting Jail Guitar Doors USA. The Los Angeles-based non-profit founded by Kramer is modeled on a similar program founded by Billy Bragg in the UK which seeks to rehabilitate incarcerated individuals with music instruction, therapy and fellowship.

The album’s 22 tracks feature an all-star cast recruited by Killingsworth that includes: Alice Cooper, Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, OFF!), Zal Cleminson (Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Nazareth), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Wayne Kramer (MC5), Tex Perkins (Cruel Sea, Beasts of Bourbon), Cherie Currie (The Runaways), Mike Watt (The Minutemen, The Stooges), Lydia Lunch, JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Paul Leary (Butthole Surfers), J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Danko Jones, Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Brett Bradford (Scratch Acid), Eugene Robinson (Oxbow, Whipping Boy), JG Thirlwell (Foetus), Tommy McLoughlin (The Sloths), Norman Westberg (Swans, Heroine Sheiks), Lisa Kekaula (The Bellrays), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Phil Campbell (Motorhead), Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson Band), Jon Mikl Thor (Thor), Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P), Neil Turbin (Anthrax), Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers), Steve Selvidge (The Hold Steady, Bash & Pop), Jeff Clayton (Antiseen), Ruyter Suys (Nashville Pussy), Jeff Smith (Hickoids), Richie Stotts (Plasmatics), Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Robbi Robb (Asylum Kids, Tribe After Tribe), Billy Gould (Faith No More), WE Are The Asteroid, Brandon Yeagley (Crobot) and Harold Richardson (Negative Approach).

Since its release individual tracks from Call Me Animal have received over a quarter million streams on major platforms. The limited edition double LP (on color vinyl) and CD are distributed by Burnside Distribution Corp. and fulfilled by AEC.

“It is rare to say that in an album of this size, every moment hits the spot but it does and with relish, the record relentlessly fueled by Joey’s rapaciously feral and individual guitar craft and the band’s rousing rhythmic heartbeat which never lessens no matter which JGJM members bring the throb and swing the sticks.” —The RingMaster Review

“The fuse that lit punk, Michigan’s MC5 hit the scene with youth rebellion rhetoric and a sound so loud, crazed, and soulful that their debut live strike remains the rarest of specimens: a pure expression of rock & roll. That, along with homed-in follow-up Back in the USA and underrated finale High Time, makes for a discography worthy of eternal revisiting—especially by Memphis bandleader/guitarist Joey “Joecephus” Killingsworth, whose tribute compilations (Johnny Cash, Black Oak Arkansas, Nazareth) are heavy with great characters… all kickable jams on a comp that feels properly vital.” —Kevin Curtin, The Austin Chronicle

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