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Friday, August 26, 2016

Hillbilly Casino
"Live in the USA" (Hobolight)

Here portrayed with peak-voltage immediacy is why Hillbilly Casino has endured as vital; never can a music scene have too many sheerly devout, crazy-from-the-heart back alley minstrels.

The determinedly rockaround juggernaut has long been prized by average working folks, swarming the dance floors of Nashville and other hip stops on the prowl for freewheeling satiation.

Profoundly American roots music stylings old and new, raved forth unaffectedly and with devotion a-fire, rollick, sway, and reel until time and space lose significance, and all around is bacchanalian abandon.  

"I defy you to find five other bands in the US 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," indefatigable slap-bassist Geoff Firebaugh once declared.

Also in this barnstorming confederacy are six-string assassin Ronnie Crutcher, skins-attacker-without-fear Matt Arnn, and, of course, windmilling dervish frontman Nic Roulette. Roulette's manically howled sermons ricochet from neon beer-signs to hardwood to paroxysmal, shoulder-to-shoulder blue-collar brethren to sudsy, euphoric dimensions not locatable by eggheaded NASA cartographers. 

Hillbilly Casino's is a diversely splendored rock and roll of feverish genuineness. An amalgam of crunch-blast capacity and head-turningly individualist tune craft. And it is quite possible that they are the most important, most eminently grounded in Americana, and most knockabout agitative band in the land. 

Recommended "Tennessee Stomp," "No Toll Taken," "One Cup of Coffee," "The Hole," "Big Dan," "Psycho" (Nick Curran's), "It Feels Good To Be a Psycho," "Something's Gettin Ready To Give"

Promo video, "Live in the USA"

(I once read that when Rick Johnson began writing for Creem, in the 80s, he asked Lester Bangs for advice. Bangs told him to push a few favorite bands, ones Johnson felt deserved wider attention and appreciation. Hillbilly Casino is one of mine.)

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