Johnny Wadd & The Stiff Sheets
By Waleed Rashidi
MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Johnny Wadd (vocals, guitar); Jim Steiner (upright bass); Mike Loftis (drums); Joe Steiner (washboard, percussion, backing vocals); Hector Hernandez (guitar, bass and drum tech, roadie extraordinaire).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Lake Elsinore, Huntington Beach.
“Life is our biggest influence,” says Wadd. “I write about what I see and know. We like all kinds of music and try to interpret it all in our music.”
A musical ensemble featuring an upright bass, a hollow-body electric guitar and the occasional shufflin‘ feel does not instantly a rockabilly band make.
Just ask the Stiff Sheets’ leader Johnny Wadd. The Lake Elsinore-based musician laid it out in a straightforward, succinct manner. “We consider what we play to be roots or Americana,” he says. “Call us rockabilly if you want, but we don’t.”
No problem, Americana it is for these gents, who’ve been traversing the region for the past five-ish years now. Billed with a band name that was initially created as a joke (“I liked it and won the name in a knife fight and will do it again, anytime,” says Wadd), know that the group’s musical creations are nothing to laugh at.
Take their high-energy gigs, including a forthcoming appearance at their homebase The Hideaway, a very regular stop for the act, as they perform there at least once each month.
“It’s one of our favorite places to play and just a great bar to be at,” says Wadd. “They treat us very well there. We expect to have a great time.”
As for their live set, Wadd says that you’ll never know what to expect. “Whether it’s five people or 50, we play as if it’s our last show and have a damn good time,” he says.
The Stiff Sheets have taken that same damn good time outside California, through Nevada and Colorado, and are aiming to tour again in 2011. The band is also anticipating an upcoming recording session in June followed by a CD release this summer on Orange County-based B@1 Records. Plus, Wadd says he’s hoping to get some more work done to the band van (better known as “The Wadd Mobile”).
“Every time we have what I consider our most memorable show, it always gets topped by our next show,” says Wadd. “But it’s always our fans and friends that make our shows cool and memorable. We couldn’t do it without them. Thank you everybody, you know who you are.”
Johnny Wadd & the Stiff Sheets at The Hideaway. 32392 Mission Trail, Lake Elsinore, (951) 245-4919. Sat, 9:30PM.