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Well, this couldn't get more serendipitous, especially given my earlier admitted woes around submitting to this theme. Bill who, you say? Who TF is that, he looks like a bank manager? Actually, of course, I underestimate you, dear Reader(s), of course you know who Bill is. Bill Kirchen was the lead guitarist, frequent singer and occasional trombonist, and a good one, in Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, frequently writing much of the material. This unruly bunch of misfits drifted to California in the late 60s, playing a pure mix of truckstop country, rockabilly and western swing, making the Grateful Dead look like a bunch of frat boys, albeit in full Nashville gear. My childhood was as far from S.F. as you can get, yet I loved these guys, once I got over the shock just how diversively hardcore their brand of country was. I even saw them, as they toured Europe in 76, with the outcome producing an LP with perhaps the worst cover ever. But perhaps one of my favourite live LPs, a small grouping along with Van Morrison's "Too Late to Stop Now" and the Burritos' "Last of the Red Hots." Here's the cover
Well, our Bill is still going, one of the finest exponents of twang out there. And he has just put out a sort of "greatest hits revisited", the songs that he ends up playing and being expected to play when he gets out on the road. And it includes the song in the vid. Please make an exception and watch this one, as it is an astonishing expose of his skill, effortlessly pulling off the styles of myriad guitar heroes, and some others maybe just mentioned in dispatches. With one guitar, and precious few pedals. seriously clever stuff. Uncertain if this counts as "banter" or whether it is just part of his show, but I am uncertain of the join. I'm looking forward to the new release, and am commending its investigation, as my purchase link. I will be buying it, as I am intrigued to see that this includes a version of this song, but with added keyboard cameos from the styles of the famous. Can't wait! (I ought to get a freebie for this unashamed infomercial, but hey, SMM is strictly for loss and not for profit.)
Just realised, I haven't mentioned the song, it's "Hot Rod Lincoln", an elderly standard from Midwest truckstop jukeboxes, that the Lost Planet Airmen made their own. Bill has now wrested it away from his forebears and makes it even more his and his only. Enjoy!
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