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Unknown Hinson, live in Greenville, SC

Last night I went to this show with a couple a' youngsters. It's a two hour drive for which I rewarded myself with some awesome sushi: yellowfin tuna, shrimp, squid, surf clams, mackerel, all washed down with Asahi. It was almost like being at an izakaya in Japan again, except that the waiter's name was Chad.

A Guiness while the warm-up band warmed up the crowd, then inside to see Unknown Hinson. Got me some party liquor and we'uz ready to party.

The first thing I gotta say is that Unknown Hinson is a monster of a guitar player. For a three-piece outfit, they had a huge sound, thanks to Unknown's guitar sound. On records, his carney-barker, contrived redneck persona and weird humor stick out more than his musicianship, but onstage he talks as much through his guitar as through his voice. He lets it rip. For all his poses as a "Country and Western Troubadour" in the tradition of Bob Wills or Ernest Tubb, the covers he did say more about where he's coming from as a musician: Hendrix's "Manic Depression" and "Little Wing" (during the encore) and a version of Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" that, because of the way he was playing it, I at first took for another Hendrix cover.

He tore through his own material, tunes like "Your Man is Gay," (which was an audience sing-along - "sing along if you'd like, just not too loud.."), "Alkyhol Withdrawel," "Barbie-Q," "Fish Camp Woman," "I Make Faces When I Make Love," "Peace, Love, and Hard Liquor," "Torture Town" and many more.

To his credit, he comes out after the show, in character, and poses for pictures, signs your girlfriend's breast or whatever you want him to sign, and chats with his fans. We didn't stick around, because we had long drive back. Made it back by 2:00, talking philosophy with Jarrod, who drove while I chilled in the passenger seat, the Jack Daniels settling into my bones.

While he was covering Hendrix's "Manic Depression," he broke a guitar string, and replaced it himself, right on stage. Not like back in the day, when a roadie would run out, with a fresh, new, tuned up guitar.

Photos of the show over at Mondo Marco.

He announced that there is a new season of "Squidbillies" coming out soon, and to check it out.



November 2018



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