Under the Influences (LP)
Mike Ness is best known as the iconic frontman of seminal punk rock group, Social Distortion—a band that would profoundly impact the American punk rock movement and go on to be one of the best-selling punk groups of all time. But long before he ever heard the Ramones, the Clash or the Sex Pistols, Ness grew up listening to American roots music. Under the Influences is an influences-driven collection of country, rock and bluegrass covers of songs that inspired Mike Ness.
His earliest influences were the pioneers of rock and roll—musicians that were scandalous and rebellious in their day—like Johnny Cash, the Rolling Stones, Woody Guthrie and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The musicianship and the revolutionary spirit at their core of American roots music appealed to Ness for as long as he can remember. As Ness himself put it, “I have a great affection for roots music. Old blues, country, folk, rockabilly and primitive rock and roll in general. Without these roots, I wouldn't have perspective. I love the music and feel it is as relevant as ’70s glitter and early punk. As a solo artist, I am able to cross the boundaries and integrate it all.”
First released in 1999, Under the Influences features songs as diverse as the Sonny Curtis-penned "I Fought The Law" and the Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower,” each with a unique Mike Ness spin. It also features a honky-tonk version of the Social Distortion classic “Ball and Chain.”