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The Good Old Fashioned Way

Hamper McBee
DRAG CITY/TWOS & FEWS

I can smell the moonshine coming off this collection. Country music scholar Charles K. Wolfe and filmmaker Sol Korine froze Hamper McBee’s unaccompanied balladry forever during a session in Monteagle, Tenn., in 1977. On this disc are many of the songs that appeared McBee’s 1978 LP Raw Mash, but this particular suite captures his vivid personality across 29 songs and stories, from tear-jerk incantations (“Knoxville Girl”) to knee-jerk dissertations on old time’s narrative merits (“Talk On Old Time Songs”) and memories from his days as a carnival barker (“Talk on Carnival and Childhood Recollections”). As educational as it is authentic, Good Old Fashioned Way burns as slow as one of McBee’s cigarettes, giving a deeper insight into a middle-south treasure.