First of all, welcome to our new Sleepover Shows site! [...]
Sleepover Show #114: Jonny Corndawg
The first time we encountered Jonny Corndawg was when he played an opening set for Dawes at Paradise. Before the show started, we staked out a spot on the second floor, right above the merch tables, and peered at the items below. There were the usual t-shirts, CDs, vinyl, and posters, but there was also a mix of leather belts, and hand-painted wallets and guitar straps being arranged by a tall man wearing a cowboy hat. We watched as the other concertgoers scanned the tables. Their reactions were pretty much the same as ours: who is this guy? We quickly found out as he bounded onto the stage. We knew we wanted to film him then.
A few months later, Mr. Corndawg was back in town with a full band; we met him and fiddler Joshua Hedley for a few songs in an upstairs room at Paradise that we’d become all too familiar with. The bland red walls were quickly remedied with a Celtics jacket, making for an interesting background and proved that Corndawg also has a flair for set dressing.
First up, Dog on a Chain, from Down On the Bikini Line. Hedley’s fiddle playing makes us extra heartsick at this sad tale of “a dirty old dog.”
Second, Ain’t It Your Birthday, where Corndawg is not met with open arms, singing, ”why aren’t you smiling? I just drove two hundred fifty miles, in the middle of the night, on an empty tank, dodging deer along the way.”
Finally, Oversteppin’ from I’m Not Ready to be a Daddy. The chorus: “If you’d only overstep your vows, overstep your vows and step into the country…” is exactly what Jonny Corndawg’s music asks you to do, to step outside your boundaries and join him as he weaves a sometimes dirty, sometimes sweet, and sometimes uncanny version of life in the sticks. He celebrates old-fashioned country music, while not taking it all too seriously.
So, who is this guy? To be honest, we still can’t be certain, but we do know that he can tell a good story, and that he can make one hell of a leather belt. Jonny recently spent some time in the studio recording his next album—we’re excited to hear the results.