20 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before his rediscovery in the mid-'80s, Hasil Adkins wrote thousands of songs, the majority of them recorded in the tarpaper shack behind his boyhood home in Boone County, W.V. After Norton Records introduced Hasil to the general public, he and the label sifted through a mountain of unreleased tapes that dated back to the '50s. Peanut Butter Rock and Roll is the second collection drawn from these tapes, and it's just as good as the first, Out to Hunch. These songs form a story of a boy who discovered the structures of Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, and Little Richard and made them his own. His motor has two primary gears: a twitchy, froglike hop and a rumbling one-chord cruise. The twitchy songs are probably more well-known because they're truer to Adkins’ hyperactive nature, but it’s astounding to see what he could pull off with one chord, as on “Come On and Do the Shake with Me,” a droning groove that would be the envy of The Velvet Underground or Suicide. Even better are the oddities, among them a minor-chord ballad called “Woke Up This Morning” and a tremendous reimagining of “The Banana Boat Song.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Before his rediscovery in the mid-'80s, Hasil Adkins wrote thousands of songs, the majority of them recorded in the tarpaper shack behind his boyhood home in Boone County, W.V. After Norton Records introduced Hasil to the general public, he and the label sifted through a mountain of unreleased tapes that dated back to the '50s. Peanut Butter Rock and Roll is the second collection drawn from these tapes, and it's just as good as the first, Out to Hunch. These songs form a story of a boy who discovered the structures of Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, and Little Richard and made them his own. His motor has two primary gears: a twitchy, froglike hop and a rumbling one-chord cruise. The twitchy songs are probably more well-known because they're truer to Adkins’ hyperactive nature, but it’s astounding to see what he could pull off with one chord, as on “Come On and Do the Shake with Me,” a droning groove that would be the envy of The Velvet Underground or Suicide. Even better are the oddities, among them a minor-chord ballad called “Woke Up This Morning” and a tremendous reimagining of “The Banana Boat Song.”

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