Unless you’re a regular visitor to off-the-beaten-path honky tonks or backroad adult entertainment clubs, you may not have heard the legend nor musical stylings of Atomic Junkshot. Fans and critics have described the band’s fusion of rock, country and blues with phrases like "southern rockers," "outlaw country rebels," "the worst band ever" and the “honky tonk love child of David Allan Coe and Blues Traveler.” 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 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 Jerry Jeff (Walker) and Ray Wylie," said Magenta. "We write 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 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 drums and keyboards; Clay Mudd on bass guitar; Joe Wray on harmonica; Champ Chimp on lead guitar; 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, presidential inaugurals, Grey Cups and bar mitzvahs, while avoiding high school graduations due to the "Kentucky incident" of 1998.
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