June 2010

Hasil Adkins turns Rockabilly into an Odd Chicken

For all the hoopla over the recently re-emerged Roky Erikson – and its mostly well deserved seeing as the 13th Floor Elevators are as important to rock and or roll as Nirvana – there’re a slew of relatively unknown figures from decade’s past that maintained a more stringent level of quality. Not to knock Erickson, but listening to his work from the last few decades leaves a bit to be desired.

Hasil Adkins’ catalog doesn’t suffer from that.

Jimmy Dean R.I.P

Jimmy Dean has passed away. "Big Bad John" Jimmy Dean. American country music star, country comedy performer, easy to take Jimmy Dean. Smiling Jimmy Dean. Country story telling Jimmy Dean, who sung songs of the American working man, of folk heroes. Jimmy Dean, the entertainer.

Jimmy Dean died yesterday, Sunday evening, June 13, of natural causes at his Varina, Virginia home, at the age of 81. He was a singer and actor, with a string of hits in the 1960s, with the huge pop music hit, his tribute to miners, "Big Bad John," in 1961, that won him a Grammy. In the 1960s, he was a national television personality. In the mid 1960s, he was the host of his own popular music TV variety show, "The Jimmy Dean Show," and in the late 1960s, he was a regular on the TV series "Daniel Boone."

I like all kinds of music. Country folk songs are among my favorites. Jimmy Dean songs are among my favorite music.

Aunt Molly Jackson: Storied Story Telling

Whatever constitutes American folk music, a huge portion of it is embellished storytelling. In any number of songs, listeners are going to find shocking imagery set aside some social meaning and political intent. Not always, but there are huge numbers of songs working on combining biblical tales, then current living situations and a desire to surpass it all.

Aunt Molly Jackson, a Kentucky born women who moved to New York during the thirties, might be one of the most vociferous singers in the history of recorded music. Recently – well within the last four decades or so – there’s been a bevy of vocal critic as musicians kicking around. But those folks seem that they’ve come to their style as a musician seeking a hook. Aunt Molly, though, started writing songs to protest various life situations when she was four years old.