Billy Bob Thornton and Matt Groening love him. Hank III has his face tatted onto his arm. Marty Stuart introduced him as his illegitimate brother at the Ryman. Tom Petty once came backstage to ask him how he gets his “sound” and the Rolling Stones once invited him to participate in a soundcheck session and John Rich (Lonestar/Big and Rich) requested that he be booked as entertainment for his birthday party in Nashville. All that plus four albums and odds are you best know Charlotte’s Unknown Hinson as the voice of Early Cuyler on The Squidbillies.
Looking like a character walking out of a Quentin Tarantino film with hispompadour and mutton chops the self-labeled “King of Country Western Troubadours” could easily be brushed off as a joke at first glance if you weren’t careful. With song titles like “I Cleaned Out A Room In My Trailer For You,” “Your Man Is Gay” and “Undead Blues” people might get the idea that this is just a kitschy hickabilly Tenacious D but underneath it all there are these blazing guitar solos that let you know this fella means business.
I was recently telling some friends at the bar the Unknown was coming to Tampa and they had no idea who I was talking about. It’s a god damn shame. So, if the thought of Cash in his druggy days meets Elvis and rolled in thedirty blues then check out Mr. Hinson. If you like what you hear then check out his live show (dates are on their myspace profile) and find out what ventriloquism, hoola hoop contests, target practice, monster sideburns, and hellacious guitar solos have in common… From the cd “The Future is Unknown”:
From the cd “Target Practice”:
Edit: The first time I ever heard Jason Isbell’s new cd the song, The Magician it seemed really familiar. In the process of gathering songs for this here post I realized that it was reminding me of. Mr. Hinson’s song, Torture Town. Compare: