Flashback to 1980 — During his maiden session for Don and David Was, Randy Jacobs meets Sweetpea Atkinson on a cold night in the Motor City at Sound Suite Studio (the recording home of the fledgling band Was (Not Was).The connection was immediate and a bond was forged between the two artists. Their combined talents would help Was (Not Was) become a successful act during the 80’s and into the early 90’s cumulating with the worldwide hit “Walk The Dinosaur” co-written by Jacobs.
After their European tour with Dire Straits in 1992 the Was Band went on hiatus and Randy started writing songs for a solo project while earning a living in Los Angeles playing with or recording for the likes of Bonnie Raitt, BB King, Seal, Paula Abdul, Kris Kristofferson, Ofra Haza, Tears For Fears, Warren Hill and others.Sweetpea was also singing for his supper in Los Angeles adding background vocals to artists like Neil Diamond, Bonnie Raitt, Keb Mo, and Bob Segar. Randy had been working with various singers looking for the right voice for his new band when Atkinson called to say that he wanted to be part of Randy’s brand new thing and so the journey began.
It was Bonnie Raitt who inadvertently gave them their name “Boneshakers” while they were working on her “Longing In Our Hearts” CD and in 1996 the two were signed to Pointblank/Virgin Records and produced two CDs for the label. “Book Of Spells” (1997) which included Randy’s rockin swing arrangement of James Brown’s “Cold Sweat” and the powerful “Shake The Planet” (1998).
After leaving the label Sweetpea decided to go on the road with Lyle Lovett. Jacobs pushed on releasing the CD “Pouring Gasoline” (2001) on his own Bad Monkey Recordings label featuring Austin, Texas singer Malford Milligan (Storyville, Double Trouble). Milligan had come to see the Boneshakers a few years before at a show in Austin via Randy’s pal guitarist Stephen Bruton. Malford became an immediate fan. When he heard that the singer’s job was available he called Randy who was excited at the prospect.
The guitarist had actually been asked to join Storyville in 1995 but had to decline because his commitment to the Boneshakers. Milligan turned out to be the perfect replacement for Sweetpea. The pair released one more CD together, the live in concert “Put Some Booty On It, Vol 1” (2002). When Malford left in 2003 to start his own band, fate stepped in to bring Sweetpea back to the Boneshakers. While working together on a session for former band mate producer Don Was, Sweetpea asked if he could rejoin the band and once again the originals were back. They released “Put Some Booty On It , Vol 2″(2006) featuring their first live performance in San Francisco from 1997. With an almost completed CD of new songs for release in 2017, a Sweetpea solo CD produced by Keb Mo no less coming to the masses May 2015 and a 2015 tour and live in concert CD with sax queen Mindi Abair. The future looks bright for fans of the Mighty Boneshakers.
Performing 6:15 p.m. on Friday, June 3rd at Linn Park