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Jakeleg, Musical Quartet


Having risen from humble beginnings—a drunken open-mike night at a legendary Louisville folk haven—to become one of the Derby City’s hottest acts, Jakeleg is a band on the move. Imbued with the spirit, so to speak, of Mayberry’s affable town drunk, Otis Campbell (for whom the band was originally named), Jakeleg romps, stomps, and occasionally weeps its way through every set.

The story of Jakeleg is the tale of four creative types who really had no intention of forming a band for any reason save for the sheer joy of playing. All four had played in bands of local import at one time or another, but at the time of their inauspicious debut at The Rudyard Kipling, some hadn’t picked up their instruments for the better part of a decade.

JakelegOne performance turned into another, then another, and yet another. Soon the band called Otis was playing regularly around Louisville. But when the boys finally decided to get serious, they suffered a small setback: There was already a band by that name. While they searched for the perfect moniker, the term “jakeleg” arose. It’s a Prohibition-era term that refers to paralysis of the leg resulting from drinking lead-tainted moonshine (frequently distilled in old car radiators), and it kept both the small-town feel and the harmless drunkenness embodied so charmingly by the Otis Campbell character. The name was such a perfect fit that it’s now become part of the band’s unofficial live-performance theme song, “Jakeleg Stomp.”

JakelegDrummer Barrett Cooper is a Shakespearean actor who teaches at Louisville’s prestigious Walden Theatre. Bassist Patrick Donley is an artist, a painter who runs the Louisville artist co-op the Zephyr Gallery. They had played together in Alfred’s Attack Slinky Band and Mr. Grover’s B.C. Band back in the days when the Louisville punk scene thrived at local dives such as Tewligans. Guitarist Jeremy Morris, a veteran of The Embittered Tango Demons, holds three degrees (two bachelor’s and one master’s), speaks five languages, and works for Kentucky Refugee Ministries, where he helps newly settled immigrants from Louisville’s rapidly growing Bosnian and Cuban populations. And lead guitarist Kirkby Tittle (who goes by Kirby most days) survived his tenure with Lexington’s Ten Foot Pole to become a published author and editor of fiction and poetry with SarabandeBooks. All are native Louisvillians, but have lived as far away as Seattle and even France at one time or another.

Jakeleg is now promoting its newest release, Pour Me to Bed (ear X-tacy).

Program 219

Guest host Rochelle Riley introduces Celeste Santamassino, associate producing director with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival; sculptor Dave Caudill; and musical guests Jakeleg. (#219)

Program 307

Revisit musical selections by: Slackshop; Jakeleg; Dan Gediman; and Juggernaut Jug Band. (#307)

Program 441

Potter Judy Miner, jazz educator and musician Wynton Marsalis, and music from Jakeleg. (#441)


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