Did this man make the weirdest record ever made? Listen to "Eefin' Nanny Monkey" and be thankful no single individual will be required to make such a judgment in his or her lifetime. Eefin' is a vocal technique or form of vocalization that is often credited to hillbillies, or should we say blamed on them. It is a tangent in the world of both traditional Appalachian music and country & western in general, and country journeyman Billy Hutch is one of its practitioners, putting him into an international class of artists practicing such techniques as throat singing, glugging, split-tone warbling, rhythmic mouth percussion, spit glissandi, purring, and subsonic Tibetan growling. In other words, doing weird things with your mouth and vocal chords. In the case of eefin', what is done is a kind of rhythmic wheezing. The liner notes to one of Hutch's albums traces the technique back to the middle of the 19th century. "In order to get more rhythm out of the band," he writes, "some players would oink like a pig, chant and make all sorts of wild cat calls. This was also done by some of the people who didn't play musical instruments, but wanted to become part of the band." There are some listeners who probably wish that eefin' could be truthfully called a long-lost art form, but the reality is it lingers around like a sub-microscopic spore, only to burst into widespread public acceptance, as it did when popularized by Jackie Phelps on the widely popular Hee-Haw television series. This is where Hutch must have come in, looking for an angle in which to enrich his position in the country music kingdom. Something about this project brought out the absolute best in this artist, however. The Time album Eefin-Nanny Down released under the name of Billy Hutch, His Harmonica and Orchestra has been described as genius by some critics, a wild and wooly-bully blend of cheap psychedelic '60s go-go music with added banjos, Jew's harp, harmonica, and definitely a lot of eefin'. The previously mentioned weirdest song ever was one of several on this record that could be graced with such a description. Another is the immortal "Eefin-Nanny Stomp." The record label must not have perceived this slab of vinyl of having been that visionary, as their next project for Hutch was to knock off a collection of other people's country hits from that decade, a generic project to be sure. This talented studio veteran, obviously something of a whiz around the mixing board, was an associate and playing partner of artists such as steel guitarist Buddy Emmons and superior jazz and country picker Hank Garland. Hutch eventually settled into the local music scene around Orlando, FL. He was part of a group of musicians working regularly at Disney World, and collaborated from time to time with guitarist Donnel Hemminger.
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