I would consider you a lucky person if you ever got the opportunity to meet Adam Weiner. His cool temper coupled with sheer talent and poetically honest songwriting clearly distinguishes him in the American rock revivalist movement. He has seen the country countless times over coast to coast, playing to unforgiving drunkards and tasteless fiends. Yet, as callous as you might expect Weiner to be as a performer now, he embraces and flaunts extravagance like few lead performers I’ve seen today. With Low Cut Connie, he and his bandmates breath new life into the stateside honky-tonk piano rock that artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard pioneered in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Standing, contorting, and dancing all over his piano bench in front of his lovely “Shondra” (the name coming from a dancer he met at the Clermont Lounge), Weiner can captivate audiences ignorant to honky-tonk and rockabilly classics with his unique and modern approach. He is not someone you would ever easily forget. As Low Cut Connie prepared to embark on yet another tour, I had the honor of speaking with Weiner this past Monday afternoon.
Hey Adam, it’s such a pleasure to talk with you today.
Hey there, we’re in and out of Atlanta and we absolutely love it there. They’re not afraid to get their hair messed up there.
Yeah, so you must be excited about coming to Atlanta again. What number visit is this for y’all?
You’re damn right! We’ve played the EARL a couple times before and this little dive bar a block away. There’s also a show at the Star Bar and this outdoor radio thing, so this must be our sixth time stopping in.
That’s great! Do you care to elaborate about “Shondra” at all?
Oh, Shondra, Shondra. You’ve got to talk to her at the Clermont Lounge. She’s been working there a very long time. We had a wild night there a couple years back celebrating one of our member’s birthday and at the end of the night all she had to say was, “I gotta go pick up my grandkids.”
What a woman. You must’ve spent years on the road touring the country, sometimes even alone. What have you learned from all this experience?
Oh yeah, I love traveling and meeting new people. On the road, I’ve met a lot of crazy people and they end up in our show along with the places I go. Though every person is unique, it’s important we never dwell on our differences, even with assholes. Listen, Philly wrote the book on how to be an asshole. These folks are often tough on the outside and soft on the inside. I just hope the music I play loosens them up enough to allow that softer side to show.
That’s poetic. It makes me curious about your time before Low Cut Connie as Ladyfingers. What can you say about this act and how has it shaped the band?
Low Cut Connie’s just a continuation of what I’ve always done. I started playing bars in New York City, then I lived in Montreal a while playing bars there, then Austin for a year. I toured all through Europe three times and around the U.S. six times performing in front of hostile audiences. I’ve seen it all. At the end of the day, I want to entertain people despite the circumstances and despite the inebriation.
I’ve got one last question for you. From the singles and live performances I’ve listened to, it sounds like you draw a lot of influence from Southern rock and rockabilly. Do you hold a personal love for the South?
Oh yeah, much love for down South. When I was about nineteen, I took my first trip down South and lived in Memphis for six months going to school. I got to visit New Orleans and Mississippi a lot and I just loved all the music, food, and people. Yep, the Dirty South. There’s nothing like it.
Low Cut Connie performs tomorrow night, Jan. 26, at the EARL alongside locals Rod Hamdallah and Blue Blood. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $12 in advance of $15 DOS. 21+ to enter.