Unknown Hinson, the self-proclaimed King of Country Western Troubadours, brings a new flavor to his music with “Reloaded.”
Released in July of 2012 on his own record label, the album is Hinson’s first studio effort since 2006’s “Target Practice” and features Hinson playing all instruments on the album, as well as producing.
Hinson, a character created by Stuart Daniel Baker, is also the voice of Early Cuyler, the gun-toting, loud-mouthed, proud American squid on Cartoon Network’s “Squidbillies.”
“Reloaded” opens with “Human Oddity,” which tells the story of Hinson’s early years, running away from home and working for a carnival.
Though Hinson has condemned rock music over the years, claiming it’s “the devil’s music,” this song is one of many on this album that show his rock side, which comes from Baker’s heavy 1960s rock influence.
“Spittin’ On My Grave” is another semi-biographical song on this album. In the song, Hinson visits his ex-girlfriend in her dreams and warns her not to disrespect him now that he’s gone. This song also helps fuel the rumor that Hinson is a vampire, though that’s a small part of the character’s story.
Hinson’s sexist attitude is alive-and-well in songs like “Fetch It For Me,” the meaning of which speaks for itself. Hinson claims in interviews that women find his attitude to be romantic.
“Unlock This Bathroom Door” is another self-explanatory song. Once again, Baker’s rock influence, from bands like The Who drives this song.
With goofy lyrics and odd subject matter, some critics have tried to write-off Hinson as a novelty act; however, it’s his musical abilities that set him apart from everyone else.
As a guitar virtuoso, Hinson has become a destination for more than laughs. He’s a highly-respected musician, even being called-upon by Billy Bob Thornton to tour with the actor’s band, The Boxmasters.
“Robot Girl” is Hinson’s conversation with a scientist, in which he requests a robot lover. The song is upbeat with a catchy melody and chorus.
With Baker’s musical history and experience — being well-versed in many genres of music, including rock, jazz, blues and country — he’s able to craft songs for Hinson that contain well-written, memorable melodies and blistering guitar solos, which often feature Baker’s unmistakable “chicken pickin'” playing style.
“With His Money (And Your Love)” is easily one of the best songs in Hinson’s catalogue. The song is Hinson’s revenge story, getting back at the man that stole his woman, as Hinson said.
The album closes with “Sunday In The South.” Since many stores in the South don’t sell alcohol on Sunday, Hinson is left without what he refers to as “party liquor.”
Though the best way to experience Unknown Hinson is at a concert, “Reloaded” is a good way to become familiar with the character and get a taste of the variety featured in his music.
Probably the strangest aspect of Hinson’s music is the fact that everyone can relate to it. Everyone’s been in that situation where they’re raging mad at someone or madly in love with someone. Sure, not everyone would act the way that Hinson does in his songs, but we’ve all thought about it. His music is a release. It channels the wild side that we all share and keep to ourselves when possible. That’s the true recipe for longevity.
“Reloaded” is available exclusively through Unknown Hinson. It can be purchased at concerts or online at www.unknownhinson.com