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March 20, 2007

The Gold Jacket Club makes rare appearance, but stay tuned for more

The Gold Jacket Club: Photo by chris higdon The Gold Jacket Club, featuring Shipping News drummer Kyle Crabtree, has played only five shows in 11 years.Jeff Tucker is a restoration carpenter, which, in layman’s terms, means he doesn’t work on anything new. His job starts when people buy old houses that require a tremendous amount of elbow grease and painstaking attention to detail.It’s kind of like being in a band. “The only difference is that the outlay of money is unbelievable,” says Tucker, guitarist for The Gold Jacket Club. The group is making an extremely rare — it has played just four shows in 11 years — appearance Saturday night at The Rudyard Kipling, where Tucker used to work as the doorman for three years.GJC formed in a way many Louisville bands often do, as an extension of longtime friendships. Tucker attended Male High School at the same time as drummer Kyle Crabtree, bassist Jason Skaggs and Chad Cutsinger, who plays piano, Rhodes and Hammond organ.When Cutsinger went into the Army, Tucker, Skaggs and Crabtree continued on under the name Eleven Eleven. The three recorded an album for Doghouse Records, and as Tucker puts it, “did a whole lot of driving to Pennsylvania to play for 20 people.”Bassist Beenee Overstreet, drummer Dillon Marshall and guitarist Gary Bell, all of whom played in the band Union, also longtime friends of Tucker’s, rounded out the club’s lineup.The band’s first three shows were 100-percent improvised. “The initial idea was that it was going to have a rotating membership, but it ended up being the same seven of us playing all the time,” he says. “They all went pretty well. Not long after that, Kyle and I quit playing together.”About a year and a half ago, the members started rehearsing again in the basement of Tucker’s house, hammering out songs for a debut album to be recorded later this spring.“There’s not a leader,” he says. “Everybody throws his ideas in. I have rubbed some of my bad habits off on everybody, and one of those habits is charting everything out.”Basically, the band writes out the chords and changes to every song on a 6-foot by 4-foot magic marker board. “The last time we practiced, I tried not to look at it, but it’s like being at BW3 and not looking at the TV,” Tucker jokes.Saturday, you can expect the club’s set to roll non-stop because, frankly, Tucker hates breaks between songs. “I hate the fidgeting, I don’t like it when people talk,” he says. “Basically our ‘song’ clocks in at about an hour.”With seven members, how they’re going to set up is another story altogether. “We’re calling it an intimate performance, because everybody’s gong to be sitting next to our gear anyway.”Farewell Soyuz, which features Bell, Overstreet and Marshall, open the 21-and-over show. Contact the writer at mherron@leoweekly.com