Unknown Hinson

It’s like this. As if a vampire met a hillbilly who crossed paths with Elvis Presley and picked up some Jimi Hendrix guitar chops en route, so goes the makeup of Unknown Hinson.

Witness the wonders of Unknown Hinson during the 10th Anniversary of Wolf Hills Brewing Co. at the brewery in Abingdon on Saturday, Aug. 10. Cartoon fans know him as the voice of Early Cuyler on Adult Swim television’s “Squidbillies.” Music fans love him as a fiend on guitar.

“I’m the kang of the country-western troubadours,” said Hinson, whose real name is Stuart Baker.

Country-western? Not quite. Hinson’s a rock star. Evidenced by his prodigious talent as a guitarist, Hinson’s fan base includes Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder and the late Tom Petty. Even the Rolling Stones asked to meet him. On stage, he’s no nightmare. Beyond the makeup and get-up, Hinson’s a rock 'n' roller who wields a mighty guitar and biting lyrics.

Colt Ford

Hip-hop meets the country boy lifestyle in the form of Georgia’s Colt Ford.

Enter hick-hop. Ford loads his pickup truck with booming bass and blue collar themes for a stop at 423 Social in Bristol, Tennessee, on Friday, Aug. 9. Grandiose political and societal statements skip Ford’s music. He’s all about good times, good friends and loud music.

Ford entered Nashville’s fray with 2008’s “Chicken and Biscuits.” Then as now, mainstream radio shunned his fiddle-laced loping sound. No matter. He’s collaborated with country royalty including Tim McGraw as well as hip-hop stars Nappy Roots. People dig him. His “Workin’ On” track garnered 32 million spins and counting on Spotify. Regardless of genre classification, Colt Ford’s a star with a style of his own making.

Get The Led Out

Neither Robert Plant nor Jimmy Page appear interested in reviving Led Zeppelin.

So into the void steps Get The Led Out. Tune an ear to the music of Led Zeppelin when Get The Led Out hammers the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee, on Friday, Aug. 9. Take note: They are not impersonators. They do not attempt to look like Plant, Page, John Paul Jones or John Bonham.

Instead, Get The Loud Out not-so-simply revive the music of Led Zeppelin as best they can. Formed in 2003, they channel the rock gods via dramatic fare from “Black Dog” to an epic “Stairway to Heaven.” Singer Paul Sinclair recalls Plants elongated wails and howls just enough to convince longtime fans of Led Zeppelin. Two guitarists fill Page’s role. Altogether, Get The Led Out occupy a gaping void where once stood a band for which none other can compare.

Music Notes

Mike Farris provided a preview of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion last Thursday at Theatre Bristol.

Folks, including several officials from Rhythm & Roots, filed into and filled the intimate theater on State Street in downtown Bristol to hear one of contemporary music’s most explosive of powder kegs. The occasion served as a benefit for Theatre Bristol. It doubled as an exploration and embodiment of the soul.

Hair swept back into an elevated pompadour, Farris accompanied himself on guitar. He ingratiated himself with the audience early as he led them in a sing-along of a slow-burning churn of The Carter Family’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Later on, he thundered through Jimmie Rodgers’ “T for Texas,” buckets of soul well intact.

Throughout, Farris sang as if he’d begged, borrowed or stolen Pops Staples’ DNA. From his new LP, “Silver & Stone,” came “Let Me Love You Baby.” During the song’s crescendos, Farris leaned his head back, spread wide his mouth and unleashed torrents of testimony-laden lyrics with full-throttle abandon.

Spoken messages of personal redemption interspersed songs performed with unbridled passion. Lighthearted in approach, he grinned and laughed between songs of enormous impact and import.

Take his double-whammy dose of “Mercy Now” and The Hollies’ “The Air That I Breathe.” Farris’ unbridled vocals catapulted forth to captivate, to move, to parlay a message. We’re all broken, his songs relate, but not irreparably.

Farris made a mark, having shined for all the people gathered. A star for whom one sky doesn’t seem large enough to hold, Mike Farris sings like a man possessed with an unquenchable need to do so.

See Farris three times during Rhythm & Roots. Three-day wristbands go for $90 through Aug. 31. Afterward, the price rises to $110 and then $125 at the gate. Daily prices retail for $50 on Friday, Sept. 20 to $70 on Saturday, Sept. 21, and $45 on Sunday, Sept. 22.

For information and to buy wristbands visit www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/festival or call 423-573-1927.

In recognition of the 24th anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s death, groove to the Grateful Dead during this week’s free MP3 downloads. Call upon https://archive.org. Click the audio button. Look for the Grateful Dead atop the menu. Upon selection, more than 13,000 free audio downloads await. They range from single songs to entire concerts.

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