20 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The story goes that as a little boy—the youngest of 10 in a family of coal miners from Boone County, W.V.—Hasil Adkins heard Hank Williams and mimicked his songs under the assumption that music was played by a single person. Using a tape recorder in a shack on the family property, Adkins recorded incessantly from the '60s to the '80s. Although only a few of his one-man-band recordings came out on 45s, he sent his demos everywhere (including to President Nixon, who replied with a perfunctory letter of gratitude). It's improbable that Nixon ever listened to “She Said,” the crazed sex mantra that became Hasil’s signature song. However, record collector Billy Linna did, and it was he who tracked down Adkins and curated this 1985 compilation. At the time, Adkins’ extremely primitive recordings and demented chants (often revolving around hot dogs, poultry, and beheadings) were a selling point for enthusiasts of wild rock 'n' roll, but Haze was more than an oddity. These songs boast a feel for swing that would make Count Basie proud.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The story goes that as a little boy—the youngest of 10 in a family of coal miners from Boone County, W.V.—Hasil Adkins heard Hank Williams and mimicked his songs under the assumption that music was played by a single person. Using a tape recorder in a shack on the family property, Adkins recorded incessantly from the '60s to the '80s. Although only a few of his one-man-band recordings came out on 45s, he sent his demos everywhere (including to President Nixon, who replied with a perfunctory letter of gratitude). It's improbable that Nixon ever listened to “She Said,” the crazed sex mantra that became Hasil’s signature song. However, record collector Billy Linna did, and it was he who tracked down Adkins and curated this 1985 compilation. At the time, Adkins’ extremely primitive recordings and demented chants (often revolving around hot dogs, poultry, and beheadings) were a selling point for enthusiasts of wild rock 'n' roll, but Haze was more than an oddity. These songs boast a feel for swing that would make Count Basie proud.

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