Wednesday, June 15, 2016

John Doe & His Rock n' Roll Band at City Winery

John Nommensen Duchac, known professionally as John Doe, was born in Decatur, Illinois. After college in Baltimore, Maryland, Doe worked as a roofer, aluminum siding mechanic, and ran a poetry reading series. He moved to Los Angeles, California, and in 1976, he met both poet Exene Cervenka at a poetry reading and guitarist Billy Zoom (born Tyson Kindell) through an ad in a local paper. Doe played bass and sang with Cervenka, and with Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake formed the punk band X in 1977. Doe also played and sang in a sporadic country punk band called the Knitters. Doe released his 10th solo album, The Westerner, on April 29, 2016. Doe is also an actor and currently resides in Fairfax, California.

Headlining at City Winery tonight, John Doe & His Rock n' Roll Band consisted of co-vocalist Cindy Wasserman, guitarist Jesse Dayton, bassist Chris Rhoades and X drummer D.J. Bonebrake. The 19-song set included four X songs ("Burning House of Love", "The Have Nots", "The New World" and "4th of July"), a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" and the traditional "This May Be the Last Time," plus songs from Doe's solo work.  The set alternated between folk-based songs and more country-rocking fare, but when Doe and Wasserman sang in unison, it recaptured the magic of X. The highlight of the show, however, was how Dayton's sizzling rockabilly-styled guitar leads tastefully fired up the repertoire. Without Dayton's sparkling contributions, Doe's set would have been pleasant but uneventful.

Visit John Doe at