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Hasil Adkins - Out to Hunch (1955)

W nawiązaniu do poprzedniego posta chciałbym przedstawić płytę kolejnej indywidualności muzycznej, następny "one man band" - płytę nieżyjącego już guru muzyki rockabilly - Hasila Adkinsa. Trudno cokolwiek mi powiedzieć o tej postaci, bo niewiele wiem, ale myślę, że chociaż w ten sposób przyczynię się jakoś do popularyzacji jego muzyki w Polsce.

The Wild World of Hasil "Haze" Adkins (part 1)

Hasil Adkins (pronounced "Hassle," not "Haysil") (April 29, 1936 - April 25, 2005), was an Appalachian country, rock and roll and blues musician, though he was frequently considered rockabilly and sometimes primitive jazz. He generally performed as a one-man band, playing guitar and drums at the same time and singing. Hasil was equally skilled on the harmonica and on keyboard.

Hasil was born in Boone County, West Virginia, where he lived his entire life. Although many sources list 1937 as his year of birth, Hasil's official Web site states that the year of his birth is actually unknown, citing "a missing family Bible" that lists his birth as "April 29, 193?". He was the youngest of 10 children, and was both severely depressive and hyperactive. Growing up in a tarpaper shack on property rented from the local coal company, Hasil attended 6 days of school total and never really worked at anything other than being a musician. He would occasionally repair various items such as cars or washing machines and turn them over for some income. Hasil could fix just about anything he could lay his hands on. Hasil's neighbor was Jesco White, a.k.a. the Dancin' Outlaw from Boone County -- an Elvis disciple who now openly acknowledges Hasil's influence.

Nicknamed "The Haze", Adkins claimed a repertoire of over 9,000 songs including over 7,000 original compositions, recorded scores of small, micro-label 45s, and is responsible for the birth of Norton Records, Psychobilly, and a dance called "The Hunch". His music can be sad, humorous, and/or frantic. He was well known for shrieking certain catchphrases, such as "hot dogs", "I want your head", and "AaaaaaaaaaaaaHeeeeeeeeeeee-Wooo!!!!"Recurring themes in Adkins' work include love, heartbreak, "hunchin'", police, death, decapitation, hot dogs, aliens, and chickens. Adkins often noted in interviews that his primary heroes and influences were Hank Williams Sr., Jimmie Rodgers, Little Richard, and Col. Harlan Sanders, the inventor of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Some of his best known songs are "She Said," "No More Hot Dogs," "My Blue Star," "The Hunch," "Beautiful Hills," "We Got A Date,", "Chicken Walk", "Sally Weedy Waddy Woody Wally". Adkins recorded an entire album devoted to chickens entitled Poultry in Motion also including such songs as "Chicken Run", "Chicken Hop", "Chicken Flop", "Chicken Wobble", and "Chicken On The Bone".

The Wild World of Hasil "Haze" Adkins (part 2)

After the mid-1990s, he began performing less often, though he retained his popularity with music critics and other celebrants of outsider music, such as Joe Coleman and John Zorn. Hasil Adkins had a strong influence on the band The Cramps, as well as the Flat Duo Jets, who have recorded Hasil. All three bands have played various shows together in different combinations. Adkins's cult status is kept alive to the present day by the growing appreciation of, and demand for, outsider music.

On April 15, 2005, Adkins was deliberately run over in his front yard by a teenager on an ATV. The perpetrator was apprehended by police (after running over another person a short distance down the road from Adkins' house), and Adkins identified him in a picture the police showed him. Ten days later, on April 25, Adkins was found dead in his home. (wikipedia)

Hasil Adkins is a backwoods surrealist from rural West Virginia who spent most of the '50s, '60s, and '70s bashing ultra-crude rockabilly into an ancient reel-to-reel tape deck, one-man-band style (no overdubbing allowed -- Adkins keeps the beat with bass drum pedals while laying down the melody on guitar and howling his lyrics in a single fevered take). Adkins' approach would be odd enough no matter what his songs were about, but a quick scan of his lyrics indicates this is where he really starts to drift into the Twilight Zone; he's recorded no fewer than three tunes about decapitation, "She Said" concerns an assignation with a woman who looked "like a dyin' can of that commodity meat," and "The Hunch" describes the nation's slowest rising new dance craze like so --

The Wild World of Hasil "Haze" Adkins (part 3)

"Now, if you ain't never seen nobody do the Hunch, you ain't never saw my woman! And I declare, son, you won't never see her! 'Cause I ain't got one!" Everybody clear on that? As you've no doubt gathered, Out to Hunch (compiled by Billy Miller from a decade's worth of home - recorded Adkins sessions, two of which were actually released as singles in the 1950s) doesn't sound a whole lot like anything else you've heard before, and if you're the sort of person who thinks Eric Clapton improves on Buddy Guy's guitar style, this probably won't be your bag. But if you believe that rock & roll is about passion and enthusiasm first and foremost, then Hasil Adkins has got to be one of the greatest rockers who ever walked the Earth -- even the weirdest, crudest songs bubble with wired conviction, and odd as his style may be, Hasil rocks hard on every frantic cut of Out to Hunch. A true original and a thing of wonderment, Out to Hunch is a truly singular rock 'n'roll experience; after listening to it, hot dogs will never seem quite the same again. ~ All Music Guide

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