Gone Hill Country: Legendary punk rocker playing western set at BBQ restaurant

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

X marks the brisket.

A co-founder of the Los Angeles punk band X will take the stage at Downtown’s Hill Country Barbecue on Oct. 23, playing a down-home set of country and western tunes. The legendary punk-rocker, who will perform with Canadian country group the Sadies, says the two genres are really just an accent apart.

“There are a lot of elements between punk rock and country that are similar,” said John Doe. “They’re all about simplicity and honesty and drinking and f------ up and being sorry — maybe.”

This show is no country-punk fusion — Doe is straight-edge about his music genres. And there is nothing under the big black sun he dislikes as much as artists who describe their work as “a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.”

“If you can describe it in two or three words, then it means something,” said Doe. “If it takes you a sentence, then it’s like, what the f--- is that?”

Those who turn up at Hill Country for brisket and a country show will get to scoot their boots to the real thing, he says, although he might treat old-school punk fans to some rock-style X throwbacks.

Doe is a longtime country fan, and some of X’s songs had a rockabilly twang, but he never considered going full Nashville until the Sadies entered the picture in 2007. He and the Sadies began riffing together at a music festival, he says, where they drunkenly resolved to make an album — 2009’s “Country Club.” The resulting sound was more rooted in country tradition than most of what comes from the modern-day country music capital, said Doe.

“I don’t know if the people in Nashville would recognize what we did,” he said. “What people call country now is a strange pop kind of music.”

Doe and the Sadies are riding a circuit of Hill Country’s east coast locations at the barbecue chain’s behest — the meat experts at the Texas-inspired joint called asked them to play at their trio of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Washington D.C. locations. But Doe said he will blow through all three meat havens without a taste of their claim to fame.

“I’m a vegetarian, so that cuts me out of some of the stuff,” he said.

John Doe and the Sadies at Hill Country Barbecue [345 Adams St. at Willoughby Street Downtown, (718) 885–4608,]. Oct. 23 at 9 pm. $5.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: