A while ago, when I commuted from my small town to Amsterdam, a 45 min drive on a good day, I plugged in my iPhone up with a 8GB playlist that contained never before listened to music.
I’ve got so much that I sometimes forget what I got…it’s a luxury problem really…nothing I can’t handle!
Important is that I know I have them, and never ever gave them a serious spin…saved for a rainy day…which is was by the way…grey,windy, and pouring down….showers of blessings for a day that you’ve almost cursed so to speak!
Blessings from a thunderstorm….came crying like a rainstorm..and howling like the wind.
All that because I had selected the ‘Kingsmen‘ marked files on my phone…the selection? An album entitled ‘Georgia Live’. I’ve listened to the Mississippi Live, Big and Live, Chattanooga Live albums for ages, but hadn’t heard this one yet…well glory!!! Sunshine on a cloudy day… I loved it.. illuminating what seemed to become a gloomy one!
The Kingsmen affectionately known as ‘The Ton of Fun’ are the only ones who knew how a live album should sound and feel, doing their own thing! Nothing imitated, too staged or over rehearsed. I love to hear it like that once in a while.. tons of fun to listen to.
Jim Hamill was the most remarkable master of ceremonies ever! Great sarcastic wit, quick, and extremely funny. Jim was full of good old-fashioned self mockery too, and had that off the wall redneck rhetoric! I always thought that Jim Hamill had many friends but also probably a couple of people who didn’t dig Big Jim’s sense of humor that much. Don’t get me wrong it is purely spectaculive…but that’s what I always felt! But Jim Hamill, man!! I love Big Jim!! Funny as he was, he was even a better singer!His singing was daring, and almost inciting at times! He urged you to listen, and he stirred something inside of you. He stirred the foundation of my musical being! He was truly a revolutionary singer/performer! He combined pretty singing, correct trained singing, with right of the bat soul singing. He was what Rosie Rozell was to tenor singing. He had soul, and had a amazing yodel too!
Jim’s interaction with crowds was like he’s was sitting at a table with a bunch of old guys, which are obviously good friends. Clad in Hawaiian shirts, Bermuda shorts and tennis shoes, telling each other joke after joke, make fun of each other, while playing dominoes! All for the sake of laughter…nothing else to it! Jim felt real when he was telling jokes or testifying …I know of course some of the jokes were in heavy rotation, and were recycled a couple of times…even by other Quartet’s!
At some point on this record Jim introduces a bluegrass number. Some of the other guys is gonna sing it! Hamill introduces the song, at the same time feels compelled to tell the folks that he really can’t stand bluegrass singing, and that now would be a good time to go to the bathroom. Great stuff! Amazing too, is how Hamill could switch from hilarious to serious in a blink of an eye, and make it genuine! Talking about serious translating to marvelous..’Foxy’ as Jim introduces Eldridge Fox, is singing ‘Behold the Master Cometh’….wow… that one got me misty eyed. I almost burst into big ol’ tears when I found out I was slowly being devoured by a traffic jam!
I was almost having Church, until I looked over my right shoulder, and found out that the driver in the car beside of me was having breakfast. A breakfast that evidently ever so conveniently was packed in his nose!
Why on earth people do that? My kids know that picking your nose, and especially eat all that it holds..is vulgar,dirty, nasty and not really fulfilling, and totally unacceptable while consumed in the public domain! A Ernie Haase and Signature Sound song comes to mind…’Reason Enough’ not to pick your nose.
Nose:/; A storehouse full of dirt,dust, at the tip of your freaking finger.You just want it all! All the bacterial hors-d’oeuvres (French:/; for ‘that which horses eat’). And that’s what they are, a simple 100% biological entré..just a fancy expression for ‘starters’….nothing more! It’s not a main course you folks and you know it! After a dish of Beaux Boogér you are always left, wanting for more! At least that is how it seems with some of you fanatic elbow greasing nostril excavators! Now…. don’t you flare them at me right now! You know I am just a messenger of the truth! The germs are having Campmeetin’ up there for crying out loud!!! Probably singing about the ‘finger of God’. They are all moaning and shoutin’! Mmmmhhh welllll halléboogah!
Well maybe,in retrospect, the guy next lane (right) was having a religious experience after all. He might just as well be having church for all we know!
But after being overwhelmed by the earthy,real and sometimes rough singing of the Mighty Kingsmen Qt!! I was gripped man, a big ol yank on the heart-chains, or as you more frail and delicate creatures might say ‘strings’ heart strings! This grips me even more than the most lush,orchestrated,polished recording….this real spontaneous stuff!
And I love that orchestrated music too, if its real strings and violins!!! No keyboards,midi files, sampling crap! Though I must admit that, in the 80’s we thought that crap (synthesizers/keyboards) was pretty darn cool. So convenient for the aspiring yet lazy maestro! No man I enjoy real orchestra’s too! But only if they are done with taste and creativity. Talk about real strings done with taste “The Cathedral Quartet with Strings” album is a benchmark! Taste really isn’t even a good enough term in reference to this album.
But as I said, I love these down,home,dirty,nitty,gritty,rough around the edges stuff. It get’s me over a threshold ,transporting my narrow-minded views, opinions,and my relentless endless urge to critique. Forcing me to go outside of the relative safety of my musical castle, whose walls are fortified and structured with musical correctness,all built for defense! Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” comes to mind, as does “Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho! And the walls they came a’ tumbling down! The Kingsmen at the gate. I’m relieved for the moment, set free…and it feels good! Real singing…nothing pretentious ..nothing to add or take away from! It’s just right, no not just, but right!!! And you can’t add or subtract to and from right ! Right will always be right! A few voices in harmony is right!!! So dig a little deeper brother! After all….. it’s almost suppertime…and it is alright!