The only one man band that matters, Hasil (pronounced Hazel) Adkins, turns 67 years old today.
For those of you unfamiliar with this W.Virginia wildman a forewarning: If you’re looking for the sounds of say, Charlie Feathers or the Johnny Burnette Trio, you’ll likely be better served elsewhere.
However, if you like your Rockabilly achingly pure and delivered with demonic abandon, then look no further. Eschewing such minor formalities such as tuning his guitar and singing on key, Hasil delivers the goods with all of the subtlety of a ball peen hammer upside the skull.
Perhaps best known to the world through the Cramps cover of his signature tune “She Said,” his style has remained virtually unchanged since he first recorded in the 1950′s. His music is like the audio equivalent of one those Japanese soldiers they used to come across hiding in some Asian jungle still fighting WW2 long after the war was over.
His lobe pummeling odes to decapitation, fast cars, eating peanut butter on the moon and sex-crazed babes are not for the faint of heart. Admittedly, the music of “The Haze” is an acquired taste and likely won’t hold too much appeal to RAB purist types.
Amongst his many fans are John Lydon, Keith Richards and actor Robert De Niro. Bobby D. reportedly kept a tape of Hasil’s music with him to help psych out for his role as Max Cady in the remake of “Cape Fear.”
Author Nick Tosches may have put it best when he said this: ” Like the Bible and toilet paper, the music of Hasil Adkins belongs in every household and none is a home without it.”