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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hillbilly Casino
"Hang Your Stockings...Say Your Prayers" (self)

by
DC Larson













Hillbilly Casino is celebrated for both its brawny fix on roots sensibilities and principled insistence on pulling hardwood-rockin' into modern times.

"Brutal honky tonk" they call it. .

"I defy you to find five other bands in the U.S. that can play Hank Sr. back-to-back with Motorhead, back-to-back with Ernest Tubb, back-to-back with Tex Ritter, back-to-back with the Ramones," formidable slap-bassist Geoff Firebaugh once delared.

Indeed, the four-man rock boppin' juggernaut has long been a favorite of average working folks, the sort who swarm the honky tonk dance floors of Nashville and beyond, throwing off real-world cares in wild favor of midnight hour rock 'n' roll bacchanalia. They, like Hillbilly Casino, dig the truth that there are only two kinds of songs, good ones and bad ones. Having fun, after all, is more rewarding than obsessing over genre distinctions.

"Hang Your Stockings, Say Your Prayers" was first issued for Xmas 2008, but is again being made available. This captures why Hillbilly Casino is so vital in a music scene that can never have too many sincere street-born minstrels.

Fiery reimaginings of seasonal staples like "Jingle Bells" muscle into taut formation with originals "Santabilly Boogie," "Tangled Up," and "Blue Suede Santa." Ronnie Crutcher's  powerhouse guitar crunches and stings, singer Nic Roulette belts out each tune with unfeigned passion, and Geoff slaps in rugged determination. (Note: Also appearing here is former drummer Andrew Dickson, who has since been replaced by Matt Arnn.)

Turns out traditional holidays aren't just for squares!


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VIDEO: "Santabilly Boogie"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29-IjckOjTE





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