WSILs at Murphy’s Pub in Boone, Friday, Feb. 10th, 2017

Put on your scuba gear, ladies and gentlemen!

The Worthless Son-in-Laws are returning to Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub this Friday, February 10th.  Not only is Murphy’s Boone’s divey-est dive, but its oldest dive, according to their website.  Which is good, because we are slowly working our way toward becoming Boone’s oldest and divey-est band, and it feels good to finally be within reach of one of those seemingly-unattainable goals we set for ourselves when we first started out way back when.

Murphy’s is one of those places with a sense of history. If the walls of Murphy’s could talk, you might learn some historical things about your friends or significant others—or maybe even about your friends with your significant others—that you really didn’t want to know and certainly didn’t want delivered in a fake Irish accent.  Thankfully for us all, the walls of Murphy’s are rendered mute by an impenetrable layer of historical cigarette-smoke resin.

If that’s not enough enticement, our friend Earleine and her friends (some of whom may look awfully familiar) will be playing a set.

We’ve been hard at work (*cough*) on our next record, and during part of that process, our friend Noelle Austin from Grow Well joined us for some harmony vocals.  She is planning to reprise these fine harmonies onstage with us for this show!

Please join us.

The Worthless Son-in-Laws

Invite yourself

Waste even more time on the computer


Disclaimer: Yes, we split an infinitive up there.  Deal with it.  Have you noticed the name of the band?

WSILs at Twigs in Blowing Rock Saturday, Jan. 14th

Dear friends, lovers, confidantes, hangers-on, Monday man-crushes, Wednesday woman-crushes, Tuesday two-toed sloth-crushes, throwback-Thursdayers, weekday-order warriors, temporary mini-igloo dwellers, mildly-dismayed family members, and occasionally-engaged acquaintances,

Happy New Year!  

We hope it’s far enough along into 2017 that your new year’s resolutions have already gone the way of representative democracy in America and that you now have the freedom to go ahead and do whatever thing it is that isn’t necessarily good for you but that you really wanted to do in the first place and were going to end up doing eventually anyway.  Especially if one of those things was hanging out at bars in Blowing Rock.

Because that’s exactly what we plan to do this Saturday, January 14th from 9 pm to 1 am at Twigs (which is, as you may have suspected, a bar in Blowing Rock (or rather, a restaurant in Blowing Rock that has a bar in it, if one of your resolutions was to be annoying).  And while the term ‘Blowing Rock bar’ might conjure up images of Realtors lounging around on black-vinyl-padded chrome bar stools and checking themselves out in wall-sized mirrors amid a fantasy of 80’s decor, Twigs is actually a cozy little place with lots of sticks.  Er, twigs.  Well, not to nitpick too much, but those are sticks.

We will be occupying the little alcove in the back by the bar; you, hopefully, will be sitting in comfortable chairs comfortably enjoying comfort food and comfort beverages and letting those resolutions gently slip away with likely minimal consequences other than a strangely pleasant ebbing of unnecessary tension and a sense of financial security brought on by the knowledge that there was no cover charge.

For you trivia buffs, this will be our first Worthless Son-in-Laws show of 2017.  Please make it yours, too!


The Worthless Son-in-Laws

Invite yourself

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WSILs Boone Tour: Jones House and High Country Beer Fest

Dear Colleague:

It has come to our attention that the Worthless Son-in-Laws will be participating in two musical performances this weekend. It is indeed a positive development that we ourselves have received notice of this actionable intel, as we are the said performing group in question, and plan to continue being such, moving forward. We would also like to empower you with the specifics of this buzzworthy cafeteria plan so that you, too, can vertically integrate your elective activities in order to transition to a boots-on-the-ground experience in grey-sourcing your entertainment.

Let’s use this window of opportunity to drill down: we will be conferencing at the Jones House Community Center in Boone, North Carolina, this Friday the 26th of August, at 5:00 PM.  Furthermore, in the interests of continuity, scalability, synergy, and a robust capitalization on previous experience and successes, we will then be playing at 3:00 PM on this Saturday the 27th of August at the High Country Beer Festival.  One of these performances is low-hanging fruit (it’s right downtown, admittance is complementary); the other sits at a price point of $40 per person and involves ostensibly judicious imbibement of boutique fermented heirloom grain beverages.  We leave it to your powers of deduction and econometrics to discern which is which. It’s not rocket surgery.

In these venues, we hope to be leveraging our core competency, which is amplified modulations in tone, melody, and rhythm combined with somewhat fluid laryngeal expression, hopefully in a way that is external to the box, which moves the needle, and which hopefully actions the ultimate end-game of paradigm-shifting transcendence for the listener.  Or at least results in his or her taking ownership of a state of pleasant distraction.  Consistent with our organizational DNA, we plan to impact our audience with a combined team effort of 110%, the optics of which can’t be overstated.

At this juncture, it’s time to position this virtual goat rodeo at the next level and go for the ask, which is where we reach out (and if we want to engage in best practices, use the imperative form):

 Please come see us.

All the best,
The Worthless Son-in-Laws


Gain traction with your friends by evangelizing:

Jones House
High Country Beer Fest
Notes and disclaimers: The skills ecosystem at the Jones House will include fellow NC songwriters Jay Brown, David Childers, and Aaron Burdett.  Coalition partners at the High Country Beer Fest will include the Backsliders and Dead of Winter.  Please note that a combined team effort of 110% requires an average effort of only 27.5% from any one member of the band in a quartet situation.  There will be no reverse logistics available.

WSILs at Valle Crucis Park, Friday, July 29, 2016

Howdy, Friends,

Just wanted to let you know that the Worthless Son-in-Laws are playing tomorrow evening at Valle Crucis Park, around 7:00 PM.

Our fifth show ever was a gig playing for the nascent Valle Crucis Music in the Park series in 2004.  There were at least 15 people there, and only nine of them left after the first three songs. Hey, it was raining.

After all these years, the Valle Crucis Music in the Park series is still free and open to the public.  Well, almost—there is the not-so-tacit suggestion of a $5 donation to the park, which you should probably cough up, because they just purchased a brand new sound system and have employed a sound tech for the weekly concert series.

We also need to let you know that our man Dave is now a bona fide Worthless Son-in-Law!  He already pretty much had the worthless part down (talk about over-qualified—Who loves ya, Dave?!), but he made himself an official hubsband this past June by getting himself hitched to a winsome young woman who amazingly has neither low self-esteem nor a degenerative eye disease.  (Who still loves ya, Dave?!)

We hope you will join us in this moment to reflect on love, family, and gratitude for the fact that Dave does not have access to the emailing list or the blog publishing interface.

As for the show at the park, don’t forget your picnic basket, food, cleverly-concealed adult beverages, chairs, blankets, kids, dogs, pigs, pigs in a blanket, etc.

In years past, it was sufficient preparation to also bring along umbrellas, rain jackets, kites, keys, aluminum ladders, portable UHF antennae, flagpoles, stilts, Wizard of Oz® official Tin Woodman costumes, that kind of thing.  But after that last storm we had a few weeks ago (yes, during a concert in the park), it has come to our attention that it might help if you bring along your chainsaw and that winch you got on craigslist five years ago but still haven’t installed on your truck.

[REDACTED: inappropriate comment about Dave buying a winch on craigslist]

Hope to see you soon!

Invite your friends.

(Seriously, congratulations, Dave.  Yer the man.)

The Worthless Son-in-Laws

Disclaimer:  If, during our performance and accompanying thunderstorm, you are on stilts and wearing a Wizard of Oz® official Tin Woodman costume, holding aloft a giant UHF antenna, we cannot be held responsible for potentially injurious or fatal natural occurrences, your awareness or lack thereof concerning weather-related cloud-to-ground charge differentials and conductivity of various metals notwithstanding. 

WSILs at Lost Province Tonight (Friday, May 6th)!

Dear friend,

It’s a few hours until our next show, and we’re letting you know it right now, because we know how you like spontaneity and stuff.

And since it’s Mother’s Day weekend, it’s a good time to think about your mom, and maybe you can imagine her telling you how you need to get off the internets and get out more, you know, go meet some some nice people, see some live music, eat some real food, and drink some craft beer on a Friday night like a good boy or girl should.  You spend too much time on that Wikipedia thing, and when did you get so interested in Hawaiian foot massage, anyway?  It’s not healthy.  And maybe if you sent your emails out a week earlier, honey, more people would come to your shows.

Speaking of moms, why don’t you bring yours?  This show starts at 8:00, so she can handle it. And she does love her some craft beer.

If you’re bringing Mom, you might as well bring the kids, too.  Because when your small child is asking an unsettling number of questions about monster trucks, it’s about time to get them interested in music.  We will put them onstage with a tambourine, and you can enjoy watching your child experience the joys of music, as well as watching the veins bulge out of Dave’s forehead as he tries to keep time unthwarted by your child’s unique inner-drummer. Won’t you and your mom and Dave’s mom be proud?

We hope to see you soon.

The Worthless Son-in-Laws

WSILs at Twigs in Blowing Rock Saturday March 19

Howdy friends,
If you’re a regular patron of Twigs bar in Blowing Rock, you can ignore this message, and we will see you soon.

However, if you are not a Twigular, then we would like to inform you that this Saturday, in the later post-meridian hours (9 until close), we will be occupying the alcove-like stage near the bar at Twigs and playing some songs for the (hopeful) enjoyment of Twigulars and ferners alike.

The evening will begin with our famed New BBC trio version, and then Jimmy will show up at some point to make the Son-in-Laws completely Worthless. Then we’ll play the theme music from Jerry Maguire.

We hope you can join us!

The Worthless Son-in-Laws

WYN Benefit at Galileo’s, Thursday, April 3, 2014

O.k., Good Peoples, here’s the deal:
The Worthless Son-in-Laws are playing tonight (yes, tonight—I know, don’t give me that look) at Galileo’s for the annual Western Youth Network (a charitable group helping youths in the High Country) benefit hosted by Psi Chi (a shady cartel of pre-owned-home-tanning-booth merchants intent on passing themselves off as the National Honor Society in Psychology, and getting away with, too, it by inviting bands with professors in them to play their fundraisers).  We will be joined by our friends Folk and Dagger, another band which, like us, has hidden an ASU professor or two within its ranks as part of some kind of witness-protection deal.

Basically, it’s old nerds playing music for young nerds for a good cause—who could ask for more?

Our rhythm section will be indisposed this evening (they said something about tonight being the only time they’d have this week to organize their Netflix queues and take the recycling), but we are not holding it against them too much, because we are hoping to make up for their absence by have a special guest (or two) playing with us. Noelle, one half of the excellent local duo Grow Well, will be joining us on vocals and banjo and tap shoes. Not only does Noelle sound great, but she will significantly lower the average age of the band, to boot.

So please come out and support Western Youth Network and listen to some live music.  (And feel free to let any of-age Psi Chi members buy you a beer, but when they start talking about how you’ve been looking a little pale lately, it’s time to leave—don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

Apparently, there will be raffles and stuff.  You may even win a gift certificate worth $10 toward a slightly dented home tanning booth!  Or not.

Festivities start at 10:00 PM sharp. Facebook event page here.

The Worthless Son-in-Laws

Disclaimer: No one made you read all the way to the bottom of this unnecessarily lengthy post only to find out there are no coupon codes anywhere within the entire thing. That was solely a result of your misplaced hopes and dreams.

Some History

Although I (Jimmy) messed around with my mom’s cheap nylon string guitar now and then, I  started getting a semi-proper music education in the fourth grade.  I thought saxophone might be the thing for me, probably because it was all shiny and gold and had lots of moving parts. But like many things shiny and gold, it was quite expensive, and my family, being necessarily frugal at the time, decided we’d all be better off if I played the clarinet, which was kind of like a saxophone, only a lot more nerdy and pedestrian.

The word on the street is that the clarinet was invented so that there could be a woodwind instrument that would mimic the sound of a violin.  The drug of choice on said street, unsurprisingly, is crack.  But at the time it was conceived, I’m sure the clarinet seemed like a huge technological advance.  And speaking of crack, what else is new technology to nerds but a big ol’ rock of bicarbonate-processed cocaine?  So you can see how it started.

Playing the clarinet was o.k. for a while, even kind of fun, learning which notes required pressing which keys or covering which holes, etc., and sometimes our little band of misfit 4th-graders made something resembling music, when we weren’t making those awful squeaks that clarinets tend to make between every couple of notes.  (Of course when professional players make squeaks, those are on purpose.)

Later came middle school, with our scared rabbit of a band teacher, fresh out of college, exhorting us to repeat after her as she snapped her fingers: “huckleberry milkshake, milkshake, gum!”–the huckleberries being 16th notes, and the milkshakes 8th’s, and so on.  Not only did this prompt eye-rolling and drumstick-throwing and impromptu fart noises (syncopated, of course), it also made us hungry, even though we Atlanta kids had no idea what a huckleberry was.

Then came high school, and the legalized torture of marching band. I loved music, and sometimes I actually liked playing symphonic music on the clarinet, but god, I hated marching band.  Not only was it not something I was interested in at all, but it required giving up one’s precious last two weeks of summer freedom to march on an asphalt parking lot in the heat of a Georgia August, playing the lamest possible versions of current pop songs (Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with tubas and piccolos, anyone?).  But if one was to be in the symphonic band, one had to pay the dues of suffering through football season in marching band.

Now, playing clarinet is in itself a geeky enough proposition, but it is nothing compared to marching around on a field with one while wearing a furry dark blue foot-high buffalo-lodge-style hat (complete with chin strap), a polyester uniform, and white spats.  My only consolation was that during the football games, as we sat on the bleachers, the flute players, who were generally female, sat in front of the clarinets, and, as it was often chilly, would pull our legs against their shoulders in order to stay warm.  So there were a few moments of nerd bliss.

Our band leader was a former military man, and marching band was obviously his passion. That poor man loved himself some John Phillip Sousa (and possibly one of the English teachers, if one was to believe undocumented rumors). Those wretched, albeit patriotic, sixteenth notes that made him breathe deep and point his nose in the air and wave his baton with extra fervor merely reminded me of cartoon ducks, and I loathed those songs in equal measure to his ardor.

So, that was my introduction to playing music, or part of it, in all its nerd glory. And with apologies to all my clarinet playing friends, I have to say that to this day, I would rather scrape my own fingernails on a chalkboard in a crack house all day than hear the sound of a clarinet.



Buy the new album in advance!


Wanna buy a Rolex?

A lightly-used Velveeta sandwich?  A dodecahedral hamster-house?  Carob-covered junebugs? (They’re organic!)

Then how’s about an advance copy of the Worthless Son-in-Laws’ new album, Dodecahedral Hamster-House?

We are in the process of mastering our new album, which actually is called No. 8 Wire.  It has 12 relatively new and original songs, none of which are about hamsters or junebugs and which hopefully contain only a minimal amount of used Velveeta.  The songs were all recorded and mixed at the Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC, with producer, engineering wizard, guitar god, musical hero, and all-around great guy, Mitch Easter.

For those of you who don’t know who Mitch Easter is, he was in the band Let’s Active during the 80’s and 90’s, and he was producer/engineer for R.E.M.’s first few records, as well as the records of many other semi-famous bands.  And if you have not heard Let’s Active’s records or R.E.M.’s first few records, your musical education is embarrassingly incomplete, in our record-store-clerk-like opinion.

Oddly enough, as it turns out, recording a real album in a professional studio with a professional engineer is kind of on the pricey side.  And the fact that we have actually done this should give you an idea either of how serious we are about doing things right or how poorly we handle our finances.

Which brings us to a good way to mishandle some of your own finances…

If you are still reading this, we are offering those interested an opportunity (hereby taking advantage of the ever-expanding definition of the word “opportunity”) to purchase this album in advance. See, we have gone slightly over-budget on the recording phase of the record, and we’d love to scare up a bit of cash to finish up the process and get it released. A few advance sales could really make a difference.  And we promise not to let Dave spend said cash on a bulk order of Brylcreem, like last time.  He did get a good deal for three pallets on e-bay, and his house and the houses next door are now oddly free of vermin (and free of neighbors), but still…

And Just for comparison, our budget is only about 1/2600th what Axl Rose reportedly spent recording Chinese Democracy.  Of course, logically, one could argue that our record may then be only 1/2600th as good as Chinese Democracy, but if that’s the case, we might win a Nobel Prize for creating the qualitative equivalent of the Higgs Boson.

We are in fact very pleased with the recording, which we feel has been well worth the extra time and expense.  We think it turned out so well you may not even be sure it is actually us.  To be honest, we’re not even sure it’s actually us–it is entirely possible we got someone else’s recording by mistake; but it’s too late now, so we’re running with it.

So, here’s how it works:  We have a page at  You can use Paypal or pretty much any old credit card (paypal account not necessary).  And it’s safe and secure (as long as Dave is not looking over your shoulder).  We are asking $7+ for a download and $10+ for a CD plus a couple bucks for postage and manhandling.  The plus signs mean you can pay more than the suggested amounts, if you a) are willing to pay more for a quality product, b) believe in karma, c) feel sorry for our moms, d) are Warren Buffett, e) are not Axl Rose, or f) all of the above.

We might also throw in some stickers with the physical CD, if we get them printed in time.  Be sure to leave your address if you are buying a physical copy of the CD (and not just doing it to be nice).  Physical CD purchasers will also get a free download of the album.

When you complete your pre-order, you will be able to stream or download a selected track (“New York Times”) from the album, with the rest of the album available for download on or before August 1st.

There is, of course, no obligation, but remember: every copy you buy means one less copy our poor mothers have to buy, and more room in Rich’s basement for his hoard of New Coke.

Here is the link:

Seriously, we are so grateful to you for being our friend over the years, and we appreciate your support immensely.


The Worthless Son-in-Laws

WYN Benefit at Galileo’s, April 16, 2013


In case you are ready to celebrate filing that extension on your taxes and looking for something fun (and good for the community) to do at a relatively reasonable hour on a Tuesday night (meaning tonight!, Tuesday, April 16th, 2013), come on down to Galileo’s for the annual Western Youth Network (WYN) benefit hosted by App State’s Psi Chi.  The Worthless Son-in-Laws will be performing, as will our friends Folk and Dagger.  Galileo’s will offer their usual food and beverage items, and there will be raffles and stuff.  With prizes, even.

Tonight’s benefit beneficiary is WYN, an organization designed to help youths in our area.  You can learn more at their website,

Psi Chi, being a college fraternal organization named with Greek letters and all, may appear to be an organization dedicated to drinking and carousing. However, they are actually an international honor society in Psychology, and are therefore an organization dedicated to being nerds.  Good-hearted nerds, though, with mad raffling skills.

The Worthless Son-in-Laws are an organization dedicated to drinking and carousing.  And being nerds.  And making music, occasionally.

Music starts at 8 PM with Folk and Dagger, and festivities are set to go until around 11.

Please join us.

Your pals,
The Worthless Son-in-Laws

FB event page here: