Joey Killingsworth, who plays guitar and sings in contemporary Memphis bands like Super Witch, Grendel Crane, and the George Jonestown Massacre, understands the importance of legacy. Last Thursday, his dad, Bo Jack Killingsworth, a guitar slinger and keyboard pounder who played alongside early Memphis rock artists like Eddie Bond and Charlie Feathers, was inducted into the International Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, TN, and Joey played at his side.
"Everybody started chanting, "Bo Jack, Bo Jack," he says, recalling the night.
Saturday evening the younger Killingsworth was busy honoring another group of Memphis area players with a completely different sound. He and a clutch of area musicians gathered at the Mighty Aw Poots studio in Cordova to record "Jim Dandy to the Rescue," the last track for a Black Oak Arkansas (BOA) tribute project that has attracted contributors like Shooter Jennings, Black Flag's Greg Ginn, Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers, and Jimbo Mathus. West Coast Punk legend Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys will provide lead vocals for "Jim Dandy."
Killingsworth gets excited when he talks about BOA and its legendary frontman Jim Dandy, the washboard-scratching wildman who shared stages with bands like the Rolling Stones, the Who, King Crimson, and Alice Cooper, and whose onstage antics inspired Van Halen's David Lee Roth. "They toured with Black Sabbath," Killingsworth says, as he sets up to record. "Kiss opened for them!"
Killingsworth is just one of several area musicians who has played in current iterations of BOA who are joining forces for the Bastard Sons of Black Oak Arkansas Guitar Festival 2014, Friday, August 15th, at the Stage Stop. The festival showcases the bands Electrick Nobody, Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre, Oliveria and Lost Cauze, each of which includes at least one member who has played with BOA in recent years.