The band’s popularity continued to grow as they toured in support of their first record. Jackyl opened for Aerosmith, ZZ Top, KISS, Ted Nugent and the Damn Yankees during those early years. They released their sophomore effort, Push Comes To Shove in 1994. It was released shortly before the group performed at Woodstock ’94, and was considered another commercial success. Their third album, Cut the Crap, debuted in October 1997. It featured guest vocals by AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson. This was Johnson’s first appearance on another group’s album since he took over vocal duties from the late Bon Scott in 1980. Jackyl’s first greatest hits compilation, Choice Cuts, was released a year later.
Geffen decided to part ways with Jackyl after their touring and album sales started to slump. The group signed with Shimmer Tone, and released their first album with them, Stayin’ Alive, in 1998. Considered Jackyl’s fourth studio album, it contained new studio tracks, live versions of some previously unreleased songs and three newly-recorded cover songs.
In 2000, Jesse James Dupree released his first solo album, entitled Foot Fetish. Jackyl’s fifth studio album, Relentless, came out in 2002. It featured contributions by Brian Johnson and new bass guitarist Roman Glick. Another hits album, 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: Best of Jackyl debuted in 2003. The group’s first live album, Live at the Full Throttle Saloon, was released on DVD and CD in 2004. Dupree is a good friend of the saloon’s owner and Jackyl has played their stage in Sturgis, South Dakota numerous times through the years.
Jackyl would not release another album for seven years, when their sixth studio effort, When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide, came out in 2010. Their seventh studio album, Best In Show, was released in July 2012 on the exact same day that Jesse’s son Nigel released his band’s second album. Best In Show featured several original songs and some clever covers of popular rock and rap songs. The band issued their most recent album, Rowyco, in August 2016.
Here are ten of Jackyl’s best songs:
# 10 – Push Comes To Shove
The title track of Jackyl’s second album has been their highest charting single ever. It peaked at #7 on the Billboard mainstream rock chart in September 1994. The great Jackyl album Push Comes To Shove was produced by Bruce Fairborn. The legendary producer’s skill set is clearly evident on the album. Throughout his career Fairborn has produced albums for artists such as Aerosmith, Van Halen, Blue Öyster Cult, Kiss, Poison, Chicago, Bon Jovi and so many more.
# 9 – Billy Badass
The mascot for this tune from 2002’s Relentless is a panda bear with chainsaws for his front arms. His disgruntled look epitomizes the tone of this angry song. It’s a heavy, powerful song that most fans can relate to. The song was written by Jesse James Dupree. It was issued as the ninth track on the album. It’s not the first song to feature a power tool a the recording. Van Halen did it many years earlier with “Poundcake.”
# 8 – We’re An American Band
Jackyl’s cover of the Grand Funk Railroad classic appeared on their first hits album Choice Cuts. Their version resonated well with their followers, peaking at #31 on the Billboard mainstream rock charts in October 1998. The group put their trademark Southern spin on Grand Funk’s beloved song. It’s always riskey covering a song from a band that had a number one record was the song. However, Jackyl did a really nice and respectful job covering Grand Funk Railroad’s trademark song.
# 7 – Kill the Sunshine
If this song sounds a little like AC/DC, it may be because their frontman Brian Johnson co-wrote the tune with Jesse James Dupree. The track appears on Jackyl’s album Relentless and was their most recent song to chart on the Billboard mainstream rock charts, topping out at number thirty nine in November of 2002. The tracks great opening guitar riff sounds like AC/DC meets Bad Company. Simply great rock and roll that has probably gone a little too unnoticed by the classic rock community.
# 6 – Locked and Loaded
This great Jackly duet between Brian Johnson and Jesse James Dupree is simply to die for. This single from Jackyl’s Cut The Crap album showcases Johnson and Dupree’s vocals perfectly, as they take turns on lyrics evenly throughout. This collaboration proved to be popular with fans, peaking at #15 on the Billboard mainstream rock charts in August 1997.
# 5 – Redneck Punk
This amazing Jackyl song entitled “Redneck Punk,” was released on Jackyl’s self titled debut album. The album was released in 1982. The band’s fabulous debut album was produced by Brendan O’Brien. The band knew how to pick producers because Brendan O’Brien was one of the best. O’Brien has also produced albums by bands and artists such Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers and so many more. Jackyl was in good company with Bruce Fairborn and songs like “Redneck Punk,” proved it.
# 4 – When Will It Rain
Jacky had a mainstream rock hit with their great track “When Will It Rain.” The song was released in 1993. “When Will It Rain,” was released as the third single from the record and actually charted a year after the album had been released. The band debut album was a welcome reprieve form the typical L.A. Hair Metal bands as Jackyl’s southern roots leaned them more towards bands like Molly Hatchet than groups like Poison.
# 3 – I Stand Alone
One of Jackyl’s better guitar songs, and another solid single from their multi-platinum debut. It was the band’s first radio single, and it peaked at #32 on the Billboard mainstream rock charts in October 1992. The music video for the song was filmed outside a Kmart store, after the band learned that the retail chain refused to sell their first album in their stores.
# 2 – Down On Me
This single from the Jackyl album was also their first top ten hit. It reached #10 on the Billboard mainstream rock charts in April 1992. One of many songs by the band that had lyrics with hidden meanings and double entendres. The tongue-in-cheek song helped propel the band from local favorites to a presence on the national rock and metal scene.
# 1 – The Lumberjack
This is probably the first rock song to feature a chainsaw as a musical instrument. This was one of several hit singles from Jackyl’s self-titled album. Dupree handles lead vocals and chainsaw equally well on this track. He uses his chainsaw during this song in their live sets, and ends up sawing a chair or barstool in half during the guitar (and chainsaw) solo. A sight that’s probably made more than one person wonder how much the band spends on furniture every year.
Jackyl’s Guinness World Records earned them the distinction of being known as “The Hardest Working Band in Rock n’ Roll.” Their tour schedule nowadays isn’t quite as hectic as it was a decade ago, but you can still find Jackyl thrilling crowds at casinos and during the summer festival circuit. They have dabbled in rap, country and pop for some of their cover songs, but have always remained true to their Southern rock and metal roots. Their shows are always enjoyable, and the band members are always more than willing to chat with their fans afterwards. They continue to rock fans young and old wherever they go!
Updated No 12. 2020