Oh brother, where art thou this aint'!
The Mascara Snake | Deepintheheartof Appalachia | 04/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In case you were wondering, THIS is what living in W.Va. does to people. Welcome to the dark side of Appalachian culture. Enjoy your visit. A lifetime of alienation and isolation coupled with recurring cycles of depression and unemployment makes for intermittent attempts at self-medication via alchahol, perscription pills, inhalant abuse or "salvation" through fundemantalist protestant Christian values. Don't get me wrong, I am an Appalachian-american and we have all had to deal with this at some point or another. And it's cats like Hasil Adkins that help us thru it and show the world that we are a unique piece of the U.S. culture puzzle and have something truly valid to offer the world. That being said, this music is great! The frame of mind behind it is totally insane! It is so soulful and personal for the same reasons the blues and music from the African diaspora are (people uprooted from their anscestry, and living under difficult conditions), just from a different demographic. So, if you thought hillbilly music was all country and bluegrass, wake up and smell the paint thinner!"
Probably the best one-man band in Boone Cty., W.Va.
J. Michael Showalter | Nashville, TN United States | 12/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hasil Adkins isn't usually viewed as a legend but perhaps he should be. How many other iconoclastic, rockabilly, one-man bands have survived from the fifties to record albums on hip, independent labels? My guess is not too many.This is a really great album if you take it with a grain of salt, come at it with an open mind, and just listen to it for waht it is. Obviously, the name itself hints at what it is not: typical, modern suburban country-- the kind that came about largely following the southern rock of the seventies and Hank Williams, Jr.'s Bocephus phase. What this is is old-time country music: this is a guy sitting with a guitar and a bass drum and singing about drinking too much and coming in and out of relationships. Don't people want to buy songs about a guy singing about how he is selling all of his girlfiend's possessions such that she can't leave him again?Seriously, this album is a good time. Some of the other whidely available albums by him aren't so good (too grainy, too noisy, badly recorded....) but this one gets him at his best.... (whatever that is....)"