Unless you’re a regular at backroad Honky Tonks, you may not be familiar with the legend of Atomic Junkshot. Fans and critics have described the band’s fusion of rock, country and blues with phrases like "twisted southern rockers," "outlaw country rebels," "the worst band ever," "perfect for family road trips and getaway cars alike," and the “Honky Tonk love child of David Allan Coe, Blues Traveler and Gregory Alan Isakov.” But there's a bit more to the band than meets the eye.
Born in the Midwest during the late 1980s by frontman Lon Magenta and former lead guitarist Denzel Blackwell — who retired from music after a tragic injury — Atomic Junkshot traces its influences to artists like Steve Earle, Tom Petty, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Lucinda Williams and Billy Joe Shaver.
“We try to take our love of country, rock and blues and pair it with a lyrical edge in the spirit of guys like Ray Wylie and Jerry Jeff (Walker)," said Magenta. "We talk about the dysfunction of our lives through things like love and hate, drinking, heartbreak, things we find downright stupid or just plain funny, and stories about how music both inspires and sometimes pisses us off."
Noted for hard-driving performances and offbeat humor, Atomic Junkshot has built a sturdy reputation across the U.S., Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, and Europe. The band’s lineup features Joey Mack on lead guitar, Clay Mudd on bass guitar, "Mudcat" Joe Wray on harmonica and vocals, Brian M. Cary on percussion and vocals, Keith "Flute" Keys on keyboards, and Magenta on vocals and rhythm guitar.
In recent years, Atomic Junkshot has worked to grow its audience beyond mullet and mustache enthusiasts by playing renaissance fairs, urban clubs, Venezuelan vice presidential inaugurals, Grey Cups and bar mitzvahs; while avoiding high school graduations due to the "Kentucky incident" of 1998.
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