Hasil Adkins- The Great Lost Album

Haze signed this photo for me on our first meeting, 1983.

The cassette Hasil gave me to play on the my radio show, all un-issued stuff.

Don’t bother dialing Haze’s phone #, it’s disconnected.

Hasil’s funeral notice. 2005

Me and the Haze, from 3-D original, 1984.

It was around 1994 or 5 that Hasil Adkins gave this 90 minute cassette to Norton Records’ honcho Billy Miller to give to me to play on my radio show. I’d had Haze on the show on several occasions for a series of “Hunchin’ Luncheon” broadcasts. Me and the Haze hit off well, we both like Mopar cars, guns and coffee, so we had lots to talk about off mike. Unfortunately, Haze was a bit mike shy about being interviewed and he was one of the hardest on-air interviews I’ve ever done. Soon as the mike would go on, he’d shut up and give one word answers When the e mike was off and he was quite cordial and talkative. We eventually figured out if we brought his guitar and kit, he could just shut up and play live. These broadcasts can be heard on the Hound Archive Air Check page highlighted above. So Billy gives me this cassette of Hasil’s home recordings, no info, no song titles, nuthin’, but every song is great. Some of his best work. Much better than anything on the Fat Possum LP (which captures Hasil on a very uninspired day). As far as I can tell none of this stuff has ever been released, so now it will escape, I being the one to unlock the cage and let it loose on you–the rest of the world. If you’re a Hasil fan, fidelity isn’t one of your great concerns, this stuff was recorded at Haze’s house in the holler somewhere in the country side outside of Madison, West Virginia and transferred to cassette by Hasil himself. I dubbed it to digital using a program called Amadeus Pro (thanks to Brian Redman, for turning me on to this and teaching me how to use it, without Brian there’d be no Hound). Some of the song titles I made up since, as I said, there were no titles on the tape box (pictured above). These fifteen tunes were chosen from a total of twenty three, so there’ll be a volume two someday (all sad ballads). The great lost Hasil Adkins album, I think I’ll call it Commodity Meat and other delights, or maybe How To Do The Hunch And Influence People. Here’s are the tunes (keep in mind on the original tape the tunes all run together, and some tunes cut off when the tape ran out of Hasil’s machine):
Waitin’ For The Graveyard, Go Go Go Down The Line (Lookin’ Down That Highway), Let Me Talk To You (Moo Moo Moo), Me & Jesus (Got It All Worked Out), Lee-Anne (I Wanna See You Boogie Woogie), Kill ‘Em Rock, Keep On Hunchin’, Way Before My Time (I Should Have Been Born A Long Time Ago), Somebody I Used To Know (and Chased Away With A Baseball Bat), Madison Boone County Blues, Old Joe, Commodity Meat & Peanut Butter, Ugly Chelsea Clinton Hunch (Feed Her Commodity Meat, Bill), Catch Me A Train, You’re Too Young For Me, Reelin’ & Rockin‘. Enjoy, and if I catch anyone tryin’ to sell this thing I’m gonna put my steel toed boot up your ass.
BTW, a funny Hasil antidote: Around 1997 the late, great, Bill Pietsch brings the late, great,Hasil Adkins into the Lakeside Lounge to say hi. I’d just bought some guitars that walked in the door with a crackhead, so I gave Haze a little Fender Squire in exchange for doing a short set. To get warmed up to play, Haze asks if I have any salt. I go get him the salt shaker, he takes it, opens the top, pours the entire thing into his hand and downs it in one gulp. Then asks for the box of salt. I give him the box and he eats the entire box of salt. Swear to God.

ADDENDUM: These links are down for the moment, you can find THE GREAT LOST HASIL ADKINS album at WFMU’s Beware The Blog: The Great Lost Hasil Adkins Album (their links were taken off of mine, might as well let them host it, they’ve got a faster connection).

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