Hailing from the southern regions of the U.S., John Vernon Forbes has a long and storied history of making music, cartoons, and comical mischief. His illustrations recall the golden-age of animation filtered through an absurdist lens - and this love of days gone by is rendered
with a futurist's ear in the blues-tinged music he's been creating for decades.
In Atlanta, Forbes played in Phantom 309 (with Mac McNeilly, future drummer of The Jesus Lizard) and Dirt, before settling in Chicago where he formed Mount Shasta, one of the founding SKiN GRAFT Records acts. Mount Shasta went on to release three albums and a collaborative LP with Japan's Space Streakings before disbanding.
Forbes then formed Tijuana Hercules, initially taking inspiration from obscure rock, blues, and gospel songs from the '50s and '60s. The band later gamma-radiated those threads into something altogether different in the labs of Forbes's own Frogg Mountain Recording Studio, located squarely within Chicago’s historic meat-packing district.
Tijuana Hercules's latest releases are a pair of collections that highlight the band's diversity: Bloodshot Records' “Six Pack to Go” 7” singles compilation (alongside Deer Tick, Elizabeth Cook, Kelly Hogan, and Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard) and SKiN GRAFT's "Chicago VS New York" compilation (featuring The Flying Luttenbachers, Bobby Conn, Cheer-Accident and Child Abuse).
Their new seven song Mini-LP "Evening Dresses" finds the band deep-diving into an oxygen-depriving bouillabaisse of boundary-busting blues, spaghetti-strung grooves, and tangled psychedelic roots music.
“This is a band that has proven itself to be one tough piece of meat.” - John Vernon Forbes as quoted in New City
released July 10, 2020
John Vernon Forbes- Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Synth, Theremin
Joe Patt- Drums
Doug Abram- Baritone Sax
Mike Young- Junk Percussion
Sam Crossland- Keys
Recorded at Frogg Mountain Studio by John Vernon Forbes
Mastered by Matt Engstrom
Artwork by John Vernon Forbes
Recorded at Frogg Mountain Recording Syudio by John Vernon Forbes
Mastered by Matt Engstrom
supported by 7 fans who also own “Evening Dressings”
This album is an ingenious jigsaw puzzle of diverse musical influence held together by taut strings of raw musicianship. Appreciable on so, so many levels. The fact that it was assembled and memorized for one performance blows my mind. Stunning. I once sweatily and drunkenly hugged Ed after a show. I don't think he much appreciated it, but I wear it like a badge. albinobone
supported by 6 fans who also own “Evening Dressings”
I love how this album has made me think and think more and then rethink time and time again (hope that the next one continues this process). The sound is sentimental and nostalgic yet very new at the same time. edziic