The hellbillies formerly known as the Beat Farmers are no strangers to lineup changes. Their longtime pedigree assures that some folks will find fault with any version of the band, including the omission of those departed from this mortal coil (Country Dick Montana, Buddy Blue) or defectors from “classic” rosters (Rolle Love, Joey Harris, etc.), a fact not lost on the quartet now called the Farmers.
“Despite all the spin that certain peeps put on everything, the Farmers will motor on with pride, integrity, and passion, with the proven good old ass-spankin’ style,” says founding singer/guitarist Jerry Raney on the band’s website. “Having said that, there are many cool cats that have been involved with the legacy at one time or another. Some will be missed, and others will be pissed.”
The Farmers circa 2011/2012 are Jerry Raney, Joel Kmak, Chris Sullivan, and Corbin Turner. They’ll appear Saturday, November 19, at the Downtown Café in El Cajon, and Saturday, November 26, at the Kraken in Cardiff.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC?
Raney: “Crunchy rock.”
Kmak: “Straight-ahead rock and roll.”
Sullivan: “Beatnik soul seems to appeal to all those somewhere between the criminally insane and idiot savants.”
Turner: “Trailer-park rock.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
Raney: Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street. “It seems that they got people in the studio, played pretty much live, and got a great feel on this recording.”
Kmak: The Kinks, Muswell Hillbillies. “Have a cuppa tea and give it a listen.”
Sullivan: Co-Dependents, Live at the Mecca Cafe. “A great Canadian group featuring Billy Cowsill from the Cowsills. Mostly covers, but a ton of fun.”
MOST EMBARRASSING SONG ON YOUR PLAYLIST?
Raney: “Shania Twain, ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman.’”
Kmak: “Bobby Sherman, ‘Little Woman.’”
Turner: “A hip-hop remix of ‘Let it Be.’”
WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT?
Raney: “Joel and Tai Kmak’s house, with him doing the DJ thing.”
Kmak: “The meadow on Big Laguna Trail.”
Sullivan: “Downtown La Mesa has a great Mayberry feel. Floyd the barber, Otis the drunk, they’re all there.”
Turner: “A select few seedy, dark, and crusty dive bars where the discreet and anonymous bartenders hook you up.”
Raney: “Roy Orbison at the Starlight Bowl. Got so many chills, I thought I was catching the flu.”
Kmak: “The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street tour, 1972 at the Sports Arena. Stevie fucking Wonder opened the show!”
Sullivan: “Elvis in Las Vegas, at the International Hotel. I was a teenager, and for me it was like seeing Moses in the Holy Land. Except with souvenirs.”
EVER BEEN FIRED?
Raney: “When I was in my late teens I was the leader of a band called the Jesters, and they kicked me out of my own group.”
FIRST TIME DRUNK?
Sullivan: “I was seven, it was my brother’s birthday, and we went to this Italian restaurant in the Bronx. My dad ordered a rum cake, and we didn’t know it was made with real rum.”
WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Kmak: “Do a Jack Kerouac–style Route 66 tour across the U.S.”
Sullivan: “Find out the truth about the aliens in Roswell.”
ANY FEARS OR PHOBIAS?
Kmak: “I worry too much.”
Sullivan: “Clowns! Actually, mimes and harlequins are the worst.”
Turner: “No, but I keep a clown mask in the band RV, just to keep Chris on his toes.”
WHO SHOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?
Raney: “Bob Dylan.”
Kmak: “Kevin Connolly.”
Sullivan: “The World’s Most Interesting Man.”
Turner: “Russell Crowe.”
WHERE DO YOU TAKE OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS?
Kmak: “I usually start in Borrego Springs and go through Laguna the back way to PB for a beer and wings at Good Time Charlie’s.”
Sullivan: “Filippi’s on India Street.”
Turner: “T’s Café in Solana Beach, for breakfast and bloody Marys.”
SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Raney: “I went to a different school every year until ninth grade.”
Kmak: “My first band in 1970 was a church group.”
Turner: “I’m a complete mama’s boy to the core.”
Sullivan: “If I told you...that would kind of ruin the magic.” ■