The boys are back in town!
The gruesome twosome of Hopeless Jack Beisel and Smilin’ Pete Thomas will be back at the Horned Hand this weekend for their TWELTH appearance in Bend in the last two years.
The band takes old-school blues and refinishes the gritty riffs with a veneer of showmanship. They're simple and they're loud and that's why we love them.
Every Hopeless Jack show that I've attended in Bend has been packed full of sweaty, dancing, smiling faces. During the summer, HJ&HD was playing monthly shows in Bend before taking off on a European tour where beyond their normal bar gigs, they played prisons, emulating the Man in Black. Pretty damn cool.
Here's a letter the Source received from Smilin' Pete himself filling us in on what the band has been up to since their last visit to Bend on New Year's Day.
Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil—It's a long name, we know, but when
you get to know us it starts to make sense. Like *Butch Cassidy and the
Sundance Kid*, there's a chemistry that brings our music together onstage.
It seems to really capture the crowd. We don't even mind if people aren't
paying attention to us at the start. I mean, we are from Portland anyway.
You get used to the iPhone stoned look from across the crowd. We'll just
hit them with something really hard, and then draw them down into one of
our more trans-y songs. That seems to work. Sometimes if the crowd is
really riled up then we go with a soft opening and then turn it up later.
We like to keep them on their toes—it's the best place to be for dancing.
There are a bunch of memorable things that people say and do after a show.
It can get pretty creative. I think “You gave me Lady Wood” was a running
theme for a while. The comments range from passionate to absurd, and we try
to record most of it down as anonymous quotes for Facebook and Twitter. I
remember one of the first shows we played when a guy came up and explained
how captivated he was. He said although the show was over in about an hour
and a half, it felt like minutes.
We understand how it is when you see a band so stifling that it freezes you
from making any conscious decisions until the thing is finished. That being
said, we don't think of ourselves that way, but are gracious when other
people express their opinions that say otherwise. We just say that we don't
suck. That you don't have to love us, but you'll find something to love
The road has been our home for far longer than we imagined since the start
of the band. It's hard to take a break once you get going. Everyone you
meet you want to see again because it becomes more like traveling to see
friends than running a business. This will be our twelfth appearance in
Bend, and we're be back at the Horned Hand. We've seen Bend through snow,
cold, heat, fire; and a pair of sparkly, red, white and blue Old Glory
speedos on a city-wide bike ride. It's not were we came from, but it's home
just the same.
We're spending some time off the road now and are working on a brand new
album. We have a slew of songs built up as well as new ones that we've been
piecing together. We're recording again with Nalin Silva at Revolver
Studios in Portland. Also, there's a video in the works for the new album
release, and a tour set up for June. We just landed a spot on the
Ink-n-Iron Kustom Culture Festival in Long Beach, CA on June 7th and 8th.
The show features Iggy and the Stooges, The Dwarves, and one of our
personal favorites The Dirt Bombs. We cover a cover of theirs by Stevie
Wonder, Chains of Love, and ever since we've been dreaming of a chance to
surprise them by playing it onstage. We may play it twice in our set that
weekend just to to make sure they hear it. It's all about small band
milestones to keep us going.
Listen to Shallow Hearts-Shallow Graves below.