Unknown Hinson: the king of hillbilly vampires 

A review of Unknown Hinson and the Lowcountry Highrollers

The Unknown Hinson
Music Farm
Fri. July 17

The king of hillbilly vampires swooped in on the Music Farm last Friday to raise some hell and money for the Lowcountry Highrollers. After an opening set from the newly rebuilt blues squad Steel Petals, the girls got the crowd going with a bruising game of musical chairs. Taking away a chair at a time, the circle of skating babes got tighter and tighter like a coven of black angels, trying to summon the undead rocker to the stage.

As a final sacrifice, they offered themselves on the auction block. Dudes raised their beers and jacked up prices into the hundreds for dates with the bustier-clad rollergirls. Red Dread topped out the night with a $400 bid for her time.

By the time Hinson hit the stage, the crowd was ready for some countrified rock 'n' roll. He ripped right into a few roof-raising numbers before switching to some slower songs. He's evidently got a solid fan base here because the rowdy crowd was singing along to many of the songs and pushing right up to stage. It wasn't the kind of show where everyone stands around and nods with a beer in their hand.

With a pompadour widow's peak and some thick black painted eyebrows, he looked like Johnny Cash's zombie corpse. I expected to hear songs that sounded like they were written by Elvira (Mistress of the Dark) on meth, but most of them were straight up odes to liquor, lingerie, temptation, and country-western music. "Darlin', I love you, but why'd you have to get pregnant, again." He mixed it up and went back and forth between slow songs and real crankers — "Alright, I get it. Y'all want to hear more of that devil's music" — and they got it.

His guitar solos were unexpectedly fiery. After a couple of bars of twangy changes, he leapt into all kinds of genre-bending flourishes that riffed on everything from Van Halen to jazz chords to Dickey Betts-style blues noodling. Don't let the look fool you; the guy knows his shit.

The peak of the night for me was after a few slow songs, he did a 180 and ripped into a blistering rendition of Hendrix's "Manic Depression." The crowd went nuts and surged toward the stage.

It was a great night of babes on wheels, hard drinkin', and songs about both kinds of music, country and western. Congrats to the Highrollers for the money they raised. Let's keep 'em rollin'.


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