Dennis Quaid & the Sharks‘ origins can be traced to the night Quaid went to see actor Harry Dean Stanton and his longtime band perform in Los Angeles. Quaid was invited to join the band onstage. At first reluctant because of his decade-long layoff from music, Quaid finally acquiesced, and his performance sparked a musical kinship betweenJamie James — guitar player in Stanton’s band andThe Kingbees‘ front man — and Quaid that led to them forming their own band.
James quickly began recruiting others for the band and it wasn’t long before Dennis Quaid & the Sharks were performing on the L.A. club circuit.
Quaid was certainly no stranger to either the recording studio or the stage, as a seasoned actor who’d cut songs for soundtracks to his own movies dating back to the ’80s, including The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Tough Enough, The Big Easy, and more.
The end result, Dennis Quaid & the Sharks’ debut album Out of the Box, will be released on CD and Digital via Omnivore Recordings, on November 30, 2018.
“As far back as I can remember, music has always been a big part of my life,” says Quaid. “My third cousin was Gene Autry, the original Western movie singing cowboy. My grandmother played piano and sang songs from the ’20s, songs from her youth. My dad played piano and crooned like Bing Crosby and looked a little like Dean Martin.”
Among Quaid’s musical heroes are Buddy Holly, Hank Williams, Willie & Waylon, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, The Doors, and James Brown. With influences like those, it’s no surprise that members of the Sharks have serious musical pedigrees of their own: Jamie James led the Kingbees; Sharks membersTom Mancillas, Ken Stange, and Tom Walsh have worked over the years with artists as varied as Harry Dean Stanton, Roger Miller, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Supertramp, Jose Feliciano, and America.
Now, Dennis Quaid & the Sharks have made the first studio album of their 18-year history. On Out of the Box you’ll find they specialize in “rock ‘n’ roll and country-soul,” or as Quaid calls it, “a junkyard of American music.”
The album is produced by Quaid and James and executive produced by T Bone Burnett. Cut at the legendary Village Studios in Los Angeles, it’s filled with original songs by Quaid alongside choice covers of the Doors, Van Morrison, and Larry Williams.
The band tours as often as Quaid’s schedule allows, and he says the shows are as much fun for those in attendance as they are for the band. “[The audiences] have a blast, which is all we want,” he says. “I make a complete and utter fool of myself. I think that’s the only way to have fun [onstage], instead of trying to pretend to be cool and all the rest of that stuff.” The band will even occasionally throw in a song or two byJerry Lee Lewis, who Quaid played in Great Balls of Fire, the 1989 biopic of “The Killer.” (The accompanying soundtrack features a Quaid/Lewis duet on “Crazy Arms.”)
On stage, and now, on record, Dennis Quaid & the Sharks are busting Out of the Box.
1. I’m In Love
2. You’re So Fine
3. Peaches No. 9
4. Out Of The Box
5. On My Way To Heaven
6. L.A. Woman
7. Riders On The Storm
8. Good Man, Bad Boy
9. What You Got To Say For Yourself
10. Walk With The Angels 11. Slow Down
13. After The Fall