Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Rise of the Northern Outlaw

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Ten years ago I got my start in radio.  It wasn’t on a rock station, and it sure as hell wasn’t WUPX, it was “The Giant 92.3 WJPD,” at the time the most popular country station in the Upper Peninsula.  If there was some country event going on we were involved.  I was a board operator there for about 2 years, I did some live shifts and every now and then I filled in for my buddy/co-worker as the board operator for local “celebrity” Elmer Aho.  Most of the time though my job was running the board for sporting events, and, of course, you have the guy who ends up being polytheistic running the religious broadcasts on Sunday morning (I was atheist at the time).  It was an entertaining crew on Sunday mornings, myself running the religious broadcasts and playing Christian country between news broadcasts beforehand, and on the AM side was one of my absolute influences and mentors (though I don’t think he knows this) “Little” Danny Rozman, a very liberal atheist with the mouth of a trucker.  He would talk about how stupid our right wing content was and always rip on Dr. Whora Shitslinger.

Of course, the music was rarely up my alley, though a few pop country songs did stand out to me as they were just well written songs.  There were a couple songs that just drove me right up the wall though, I would go in and check the playlist and remove them if I saw them.  The first was John Michael Montgomery’s “The Little Girl” which asserted that a little girl’s parents were abusive BECAUSE they were non-believers.  What a load of shit, and one of the standard myths pushed by Christianity.  I will never have respect for that man after that song.  The other song was by a young “phenom” named Billy Gilman called “One Voice.”  Now this kid’s voice struck me right at the core and made me borderline homicidal.  Though Gilman’s career isn’t over, it is certain that puberty put a major slow on his record sales.

I didn’t really start digging heavily into the world of Outlaw Country until I started to drive truck.  Sure, I knew I enjoyed certain kinds of country, but I never took the time to get into it.  When I was a driver I had Sirius Satellite Radio (prior to the merger with XM, it was just in talks and I was heavily in support), though most of the time I listened to talk radio (Sports, Leftist, Playboy) when I did listen to music more often than not it was “Outlaw Country” and “The Vault.”  Strange that the metal station wouldn’t have even crept into the top 10 reasons I recommended satellite radio (though they have vastly improved its still just barely more than a glorified active rock station generally targeting the baggy pantsed trend crowd and playing the same stuff over and over to appease the old schoolers).  I discovered lots of great music and started adding a little to my collection.  Of course, Sirius/XM Outlaw Country doesn’t just play traditional country but include folk/rock, rockabilly, and some outright rock that really grabs the essence of the outlaw.  I find this format to be the best and that is the route I am taking on The Northern Outlaw.

Before I get to the track listing I want to point out some critiques I have of my own work on this one.  The first and most glaring to me is the forgetting of a line on the second voice track.  I mention the movie “Slither,” but fail to mention that the track “Baby I Love You” was the in the credits.  I could go back and fix it, but I’m just going to have to take close to a Lord Imperial stance on it and say it would take away from the essence of the show to fix that mistake.  Also the first couple of voice tracks my voice is shaky on.  I was recording those tracks at 2-3 am with vicious cotton mouth.  It’s noticeable, but again it’s just in the essence of the show to leave it.  Also, I call the Hellbound Glory song “Ballad of Scumbag Country” - “The Ballad of the Scumbag.”  Overall I don’t think anyone should be complaining about this setlist, if you like country something in here should appeal to you.  I’ll try to get one of these a month, but I’m not going to promise anything.   However, without further adieu this is:

The Rise of the Northern Outlaw

Hank Williams III – The Grand Old Opry (Ain’t So Grand) – Damn Right Rebel Proud – 2008

John Prine – Illegal Smile – John Prine – 1971
The Yayhoos – Baby I Love You – Fear Not the Obvious – 2001
Old Crow Medicine Show – New Virginia Creeper – Big Iron World – 2006
Otis Gibbs – Preacher Steve – Grandpa Walked a Picket Line – 2009

Sycamore Smith – Hokum All Ye Faithful – Mmm… Some Racy Hits – 2005
Tex Williams – Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette) – Single – 1947
J.B. Beverly & The Wayward Drifters – They’ll Only Play My Music When I’m Dead – Watch America Roll By – 2009
Townes Van Zandt – Waiting ‘Round to Die – Live at The Old Quarter, Houston, TX – 1973
Hasil Adkins – She Said – Chicken Walk – 1986 (Recorded in the 50’s)
Those Poor Bastards – This World is Evil – Satan is Watching – 2009

Hellbound Glory – Ballad of Scumbag Country – Scumbag Country – 2006
Bourbon Crow – Drink Till You Ain’t Ugly – Highway to Hangovers – 2006
Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies – Drug Runner – Driven By Demons - 2008
Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson – Fulsom Prison Blues (Live)  – VH1 Story Tellers - 1998

David Allen Coe – Fuckin’ In The Butt – 18 X-Rated Hits – 1982
Banjo & Sullivan (Jesse Dayton) – Dick Soup – The Ultimate Collection 1972-1978 – 2005

Hank Williams III – Dick in Dixie – Straight to Hell - 2006

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