Marty James (The Warden), Marshall Harper (Marshall Law), Juan Hailey (Johnny Law) and Mike Schulz (The Bad Lieutenant) are the lineup of the country alternative band LAW. - Photo by Pamela Perry

Johnny Cash meets Sid Vicious

Law enforcement wannabes or hard-drivin' outlaw country rock band?

The Medford-based band LAW includes members Marty James (The Warden) on electric lead guitar; Marshall Harper (Marshall Law) on drums; Juan Hailey (Johnny Law) on acoustic guitar and vocals; and Mike Schulz (The Bad Lieutenant) on bass.

"We play alternative country and rock," says James. "We love that stripped-down outlaw country sound — like that of Johnny Cash. We're kind of like Johnny Cash meets the Sex Pistols."

LAW will perform at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at The Little Brown Jug (formerly the Tally Ho), 1212 S. Pacific Highway, Talent, for a Halloween costume party.

The group was formed by Hailey and Harper about five years ago, with bassist Schulz. James joined the band a couple of years later. Schulz left for awhile but then returned to the group.

"Johnny (Juan) comes up with ideas for songs," James says. "Then we all just flush them out until we come up with something cool. In the beginning it was kind of raw, but it's coming together."

The group is working on the last details of its first album, "On Yer Tail," due to be independently released after the first of 2008. Three of LAW's songs can be heard at www.myspace.com/lawtheband.

"We're hoping to find an independent label for our music," James says. "In the meantime, we'll keep playing shows and trying to generate interest in the band."

LAW performs regularly at the Talent Club in Talent, sharing the stage with Dry County Crooks of Portland and Larry and His Flask of Bend whenever the two groups visit the Rogue Valley.

The Crooks have three albums out. They mix rockabilly, country and some punk. Larry and His Flask are an old-school punk band, James says.

"Both bands are a lot of fun, and they usually pack the Talent Club when they play," James says.

LAW has opened for acts such as the Bastard Sons of Johhny Cash and Moot Davis, and for the Crooks at Devils Point in southeast Portland.

"It's a strip club by day and a live music venue by night," James says. "It's actually pretty mellow. Except that the stage is suspended from the ceiling by heavy chains, and it swings back and forth while we play."

Cover to the Halloween show at The Little Brown Jug is free. Call 535-3447.

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