Well, the ol’ Hank III cussin’ board has done it again. Thanks to the fine (usually) folks over there, I have been turned on to an unsigned Georgian — making country music the way it used to be. I will stop shy of saying it is country music the way it should be, since I do not feel I can speak as an authority, but I will say it is country music the way I like it.
Joey Allcorn is a 25 year old from Columbus, Georgia who writes and performs songs that could have been played on the fabled stage of the Grand Ol’ Opry in it’s heydays at The Ryman. Classic country songs with steel guitars, fiddles, lyrics of heartbreak, heaven, hell, and all matters of turmoil in between.
In the title track of his debut CD “50 Years Too Late” he sings about never getting to meet the country legends of ‘ol, and in the last verses he says “and I’ll never get to meet them cause they’re all dead and gone, but I feel that it’s my place to pick up and carry on with the kind of country music that they left behind and it might turn out that it was fate I was born 50 years too late.” It just might indeed.
For an unsigned artist putting out his debut album — Allcorn boasts an impressive roster of guest singers. Hank III, BR549, the guys from Those Poor Bastards, and the mad crazy steel talents of Andy Gibson are all on display throughout the disc….and while I may not be able to speak with authority on country music, those people damn sure can and anyone who gets their seal of approval is a-oh-fucking-kay.
Allcorn has the classic country nasal vocal delivery that hints at a less road/drugs/whiskey/pills/pot/15 shows in 17 nights hell raising weary Hank III but fear not Joey…you are young yet.
Every anti-Nashville artist must contain a “fuck trashville” cut on their CD and “50 Years Too Late” delivers accordingly with In Nashville, Tennessee. The track is intriguing because it features a more electric sonic structure, but as a whole I tend to ignore these songs. The artists are right, Nashville has killed the classic country sound but they may as well write fuck Clear Channel songs.
The prerequisite anti-Nashville track aside there is not a single track on this CD I do not like, and some such as Graveyard Bound, Alabama Chain Gang, This Ain’t Montgomery, and Son of a Ramblin’ Man have already found a place on my “Bad Muthafukas” playlist on the Ipod.
So, if you are a fan of the classic country sound you need to check out this kid from Georgia cause he’s got it going on….visit his site, check out the tracks on his myspace site, buy a CD…hell, buy two and mail one to your local community radio station (that’s what I’m doing) and show some support for someone doing it for love over money.
You can hear more songs over on Joey’s myspace site. Joey was kind enough to answer a few questions the other day as well. So, here is a little mini-interview to help y’all get acquainted:
9b.net: How did you manage to score such and impressive roster of guest artists on a debut cd?
Allcorn: Well, most of the people on the album come from the Hank III realm and it’s just a side effect of knowing him for so long… I’ve known III for about 6 years or so and of course it was through him I was turned onto Those Poor Bastards and met Andy Gibson. I’ve been a fan of Donnie Herron since I was 15 years old and listening to BR549 records. Johnny Hiland I actually met in Nashville at one of his shows when he was opening for Brent Mason and those guys, But I knew who he was from the tracks he did on Shelton’s Lovesick, Broke & Driftin’ back in 01.
9b.net: Tell me about the choice to wear the suit on stage. Is it in reverence to country musics past or is it a rebellion to the current commercialization of the country-image….or have I just completely over thought the whole damned thing?
Allcorn: Well I wear the suits because I think it represents something that is missing from todays country music and that’s class. It is a shame that guys will go on the Opry with torn up jeans and tank tops etc. It is the Mother Church of Country music and should be treated with some respect. But overall, it’s just something not very many people are doing anymore and I believe should be a part of country music once again.
9b.net: Do you get much backlash from people thinking you’re just trying to ride a gimmick or imitate Hank Sr. If so, how do you deal with them?
Allcorn: Well, I am doing this because I listened to Hank Williams Sr., and as long as I can get out there and sing his songs and promote his memory I will. He has had more impact on my life than anybody else and I will always show respects to Sr. If anybody thinks I immitate him by wearing the suits or singing in that style or whatever, they need to go watch some old Opry footage from the 50’s, everybody dressed like that and alot of people had that same type of vocal style.
9b.net: It seems a lot of the people pushing to bring back country music originated from the punk rock scene. Why do you thinkg that is?
Allcorn: I honestly don’t know. I guess maybe because it is a real and honest form of music and there’s alot of people who can relate to it. That is why I’ve always been a fan of both, it’s just honest lyrics and basic music.
9b.net: Any plans of touring to support the cd?
Allcorn: We have been on tour since October supporting the new record and will continue into next year. Weve been all up in the northeast and next we are heading to TX, then a break and probably the midwest after that, Im not really sure… But I love being on the road and meeting all the people out there who are into old school country music.
9b.net: Who would win in a fight between Big & Rich and Toby Kieth?
Allcorn: They would never fight. Their lawyers would settle it in court before it ever got that far.