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Best of the Haze

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Editors’ Notes

The title Best of the Haze is a bit of a misnomer; this isn't a compilation of Adkins’ recordings from throughout his career. It's an unreleased session that he recorded for the label IRS (R.E.M.'s first home) in 1993. Though the cover is misleading, the music is great. Adkins is in fine form, coaxing tribal rhythms from a guitar that sounds like it was built from a bag of rubber bands. The one thing that really differentiates this session is its massive low end, which gives previously recorded Hasil favorites like “She Said” and “Wild Man” a muscle-car rumble that hadn't before been experienced. For this reason, the songs with chugging locomotive rhythms are most memorable, particularly “Santa Claus Boogie” and “Change Them Gears,” the latter of which showcases Adkins’ infamous start-stop rhythm. As always, Hasil threw a few gentle ballads into the mix, the best of which is “Jesse’s Song,” a long, seemingly improvised love note to his girlfriend. Unlike most of the songs here, this one appears only on this album.

Biography

Born: 29 April 1937 in Madison, WV

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Hasil Adkins was a one of a kind rockabilly lunatic whose life and music were bizarre enough that if they had been a work of fiction, no one with any sense would have ever believed it. A frantic one-man band who bashed out ultra-crude rock & roll tunes about sex, chicken, and decapitation into a wheezing reel-to-reel tape machine in a West Virginia shack, Adkins spent most of his life making...
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Best of the Haze, Hasil Adkins
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