Thursday, January 27, 2022

Whisky Shivers Ready to Shake Up Oxford For Good

L-R: Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa, James Bookert, Andrew VanVoorhees, Bobby Fitzgerald, Joe Deuce (Photo Credit: Sandy Carson)
L-R: Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa, James Bookert, Andrew VanVoorhees, Bobby Fitzgerald, Joe Deuce
Photo courtesy Sandy Carson.

Have you heard of Whiskey Shivers? Well if you read Washington Post and Rolling Stone you might’ve seen their glowing reviews of the band starting its tour in Oxford at Proud Larry’s tonight.

The Austin-based band is kickstarting its national tour to support its new self-titled LP, produced by Robert Ellis, here in Oxford tonight. Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa, James Bookert and Andrew VanVorhees, Bobby Fitzgerald and Joe Deuce all make up the band. Whiskey Shivers’ bassist, Andrew VanVorhees answered in an email that they were excited to be in Oxford, a city they haven’t visited before: “The home of John Grisham? Are you KIDDING?! No, I’ve never been before.”

The band members explained their music method has “lots and lots of inside jokes and the occasional ribbing.” VanVorhees said in an email, “We have a word game called ‘Contact’ that’s way fun. Our most unified and agreed upon philosophy is more or less that life is ridiculous and the most logical way to react to most of life’s little crop-dustings is to celebrate it in one way or another. Mostly by drinking and dancing.”

The first time fans are in for a treat. VanVorhees said, “Well, if (the concert goers) came to ignore the band and have a quiet drink, they’re gonna be kinda bummed out. But only for like a couple songs. Then they’ll be dancing and getting all mad at anyone they think isn’t having a good time. And then we’ll be done, and they’ll leave and say ‘those guys were crazy!’ You can quote them on that.”

Whiskey Shivers speaks from personal experience. The band’s music is so original that the Washington Post came up with a new genre term: “Apocalyptic Americana.” Rolling Stone reviewed that the band combines “fierce inertia of Old Crow Medicine Show, the ramshackle folk punch of Felice Brothers and the punk energy of a pre-sobriety Deer Tick.”

But give its song, “Jealous Heart” a listen to see for yourselves. Don’t be surprised if you’re tapping your foot no matter where you’re sitting, in an office or classroom or in a restaurant. Whiskey Shivers has infectious energy.

VanVorhees said his favorite song might be “Swarm,” one of Whiskey Shivers’ first song with Horti, its guitarist. Parts of that song are all written by them. “Which is the same for a lot of our songs, since we tend to write together,” VanVorhees wrote in an email. “But that one has a nice blend of humor and musicianship that makes me really proud.”

The biggest inspirations for this band? VanVorhees said, “We’re all big fans of The Dillards, or as many know them ‘The Darlings’ from the Andy Griffith Show. Fun, speedy bluegrass that doesn’t take its soloing too seriously. Personally I draw a lot of inspiration from bands like the Rezillos, the Replacements and Uncle Tupelo – bands in different genres that never forgot how awesome four-on-the-floor can be.”

So come on out to Proud Larry’s and knock back a drink so y’all can start dancing as soon as the Whiskey Shivers’s show begins at 9:00 p.m. Don’t worry about getting a ticket, it’s a free show!

Callie Daniels is a staff writer for She can be reached at