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Live In Chicago

Hasil Adkins

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Album Review

Hasil Adkins brings his one-man band approach out of the studio and onto the stage for Live in Chicago, a raucous concert performance from the Windy City. This is probably the closest the singer will ever come to a rapturous audience. Though, based on the chatter, a relatively small number were in attendance that night, they receive Adkins like a crazed hero, punctuating his songs with spirited shouts and hollers throughout. With the exception of their presence and the singer's between song banter however, little has changed. Songs still spring from Adkins' mouth as if they just popped into his head, then disintegrate as if he's forgotten the rest, failed to write a conclusion in the first place, or just remembered something he had to tell the audience. Most of the show is devoted to the unruly takes on rock, country, and rockabilly that are the Adkins' trademarks: each song sounding increasingly like the last. Thankfully he paces this material with a handful of appropriate covers (Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") and even a few tender ballads. The latter are always a surprise and are all the more affecting as reprieves from Adkins' wild man persona. Such moments, as always, are few and far between. Though none of Adkins' albums are going to be user-friendly, Live in Chicago catches the singer a little too close to the brink.


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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Live In Chicago, Hasil Adkins
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