Hasil Adkins

Peanut Butter Rock and Roll

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Hasil Adkins albums fall into two distinct groups; since his rediscovery in the 1980s, he has recorded an avalanche of new material, some successful (The Wild Man), some not (the disastrous and chaotic Live in Chicago). By far the best are the ones that have been assembled from the homemade recordings Hasil cut in his West Virginia tar-paper shack home between 1956 to 1963, referred to as "Haze's Golden Decade" by true believers. This one falls into the latter category, plumbing more wild-man treasures from the plentiful Hasil Adkins private stash of well-worn tapes, acetates, and cardboard records. Starting off with a typically loose but driving version of "Blue Suede Shoes" that bears virtually no resemblance to the original version by Carl Perkins (or anybody else's for that matter), these 18 tracks are some of Hasil's rockin' best. Fans of the Haze's oddball versions of other folks' tunes will revel in the versions here of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" and Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song." Everything else is bona fide original Hasil, with the wild and woolly "The Slop," "Chicken Twist," the rare (for Adkins) instrumental title cut, the classic "Walk and Talk with Me" (featuring a "Witch Doctor"-style hook full of nonsense syllables that only enhances his lunatic image), and the demonic mantra of "Come on Along" -- featuring two of Hasil's girlfriends yelping the title out of tune as the song repeatedly changes key -- are the certified "these you have to hear" highlights. Of the numerous Hasil Adkins albums on the market, this is one of the best.

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