Celtic rockabilly kitten Imelda May has a new chart-topping album overseas called “Mayhem,” featuring original songs such as “Psycho” and “Sneaky Freak,” and will be back in the Bay Area to promote it when it hits the U.S. this summer. But this weekend, she and her band, which includes guitarist hubby Darrel Higham, are in The City playing in Jeff Beck’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Party. They will perform standards such as “The Girl Can’t Help It” and catalog classics from Les Paul and Mary Ford, as they did on last year’s Grammy Awards with a rollicking rendition of “How High the Moon.”
On the “Mayhem” credits, you thank Alfie Elvis, “Our beautiful hairy son.” He’s not Esau or a yeti — he’s your dog, right? Ha! He’s our border collie! On the last record, I thanked Alfie Elvis for his “lovely licks,” and a lot of people thought he was a guitarist.
Has he made his way into recording sessions yet? Yeah. He’s on “Psycho” and he’s also in the video. We got him to growl at the end of “Psycho” by playing tug of war — you just give him a rope, pull it and he growls like crazy. So I thought it’d be great to have a dog running in and out of the video, and he kept jumping around the day of the shoot. But by the time it came for him to actually film his part, he was so tired. So if you watch the clip, he just comes in and falls asleep at my feet.
Do you trust animals more than humans? Yes. I do trust Alfie, and he is my hairy little son. And when I go on tour, he goes to a dog minder, a woman that we know, and stays with her and her family. And when we get back he licks my face off and becomes my shadow; he gets very clingy and walks everywhere with me. Even when I get into the bath, he just sits beside the tub and stares at me.
Speaking of animals, how many showbiz weasels have you met now that “Mayhem” went top 10 in Ireland? It’s like with anything you do — I’ve always met weasels and nice people, whether it’s going well or not. So yeah, I’m meeting more weasels, but I’m meeting more nice people as well. It balances itself out.
Will Alfie Elvis be getting his very own song soon? A dedication? I think there is a song for Alfie coming! I really do. Because I do sing to Alfie at home when I’m doing the wash, and he seems to really enjoy it.
IF YOU GO
Jeff Beck and the Imelda May Band: Rock ‘N’ Roll Party
Where: The Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Contact: (415) 371-5500, www.livenation.com