The Rockit King
The Truth Will Set You Free album release
wsg. Deadwood Stone and Jim Shaneberger
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Nov. 15 (8 p.m.); $7
Ages 21+; pyramidschemebar.com
If there were such a thing as a West Michigan rock ‘n’ roll museum, then Jessie Beveridge would be a prime candidate for the job of curator. As the lead singer for local mainstays The Rockit King, Beveridge has not only toiled away in the scene since his group formed in 2001, but also has a deep knowledge and profound appreciation for his brothers in rock.
“I think Michigan music is a big deal and that everyone is really supportive of each other,” said Beveridge of his experience in the local scene. “It’s way fucking cooler than you would think. Everyone shows up and everyone supports each other by coming to the shows.”
Naturally, Beveridge and The Rockit King turned to some of their partners in crime — musicians that have long labored in the trenches of the local scene — when deciding who would join them for Nov. 15’s album release party at The Pyramid Scheme.
The Rockit King will be joined by Deadwood Stone and Jim Shaneberger for a night of full frontal rock ‘n’ roll, which will commemorate the first studio album release from The Rockit King since 2005 (Saddle Up). Joel Ferguson (Papa Vegas) recorded the album, titled The Truth Will Set You Free, at his Planet Sunday Studios.
It’s been a long time coming, too, especially considering the fact that some of the tracks that landed on the full-length album have been in The Rockit King’s live show arsenal since 2008.
“We kind of played through the writing process of this album, and it was a long one,” Beveridge said. “We played right up until about a year ago. We were playing and it was always getting in the way of recording sessions. Finally, we just stopped playing and we said to each other that we’re never going to get this record done if we don’t concentrate on it.”
Live shows weren’t the only thing to stall out The Rockit King’s momentum on their latest release — plenty of life happened for Beveridge and his band, but those hardships also served as inspiration for the tracks.
The Truth Will Set You Free serves as yet another milestone in a long career full of high-profile shows alongside some of rock ‘n’ rolls greatest. The Rockit King started jamming back in 2001, and shuffled through a few members over time. However, the band’s current line-up has been intact since 2007.
Along with those years of playing and recording comes a fair share of battle scars, and, of course, awesome stories. Beveridge recalled playing with the likes of David Lee Roth and Skid Row, and especially the time when Don Dokken taught him how not to approach music.
“We were opening for Dokken and we were walking through backstage and there was Don Dokken sitting in the stairway just totally bummed out,” Beveridge said. “He gets to tour and play music every night, but whatever it was, he was just bummed out sitting there.
“I don’t remember what the fuck songs we played that night or how we played, I just remember laughing about that.”
The new album and the big release show effectively serves as The Rockit King’s return to the stage. In fact, the band will hit The Music Factory in Battle Creek and Czar’s 505 in St. Joseph to play shows leading up to the album release party. Then, it’s back to business as usual for these local workhorses.
“I think we’ll probably formulate a radio push,” Beveridge said of his band’s plans. “I’d like to do a 10-day (tour) every year when we can — maybe some long weekends. That’s always fun and a break from the monotony of day jobs and life. I’d like to play more and we’re already writing new tunes. We’ll keep rocking.” — Jayson Bussa