7-list: Redneck Hippie LPs

Rednecks and hippies are two of the most despised breeds of American left to make fun of, and rightly so in most cases. However, as a youngster with young parents and their wild and wacky menagerie of friends, the main impressive influence on my early life was a weird hybrid of redneck and hippie that they all were. Shit, I think I was like 9 and sleeping over at a richer friend’s house one weekend before I realized that the majority of grown-ups did not look like people on the gatefold of a Lynyrd Skynyrd record.
These redneck hippies, to this day, are held in high esteem by me, because they’re open-minded enough to not be stupid rednecks (which would be terrible decision because non-whites have reefer too), and they’re also not naïve and pacifistical like stupid hippies, so they’re apt for violence and craziness. In fact, just last weekend I was at a rock show, and this older punk fuck from Richmond was fucking with me because I didn’t want to go outside and get high with him, saying some “Then why do you look like a stupid hippie then?” referring to my dreadlocks and the sandals I was wearing (generic thrift store old black man sandals, not $350 super-hippie brand name shits, just to clarify), and I answered, “Because I like to fight stupid fucks who like to hate fucking hippies.” We all had a good life and got a round of shots.
Anyways, I figured since this is mostly a hip hop-related blog, I’d write about something that none of you will care about at all. And it won’t open you up to anything because most likely you’ll just think I’m a dumbass redneck hippie cuntface loser and this shit will mean nothing to you. Which is fine, because most likely the redneck half of me would want to fight you over something trivial in real life anyways. But then the hippie half of me would want to be cool enough we could have a beer together and maybe smoke a blunt together in the alley or something. However, none of this would ever happen because the redneck hippie’s natural habitat usually involves a picnic table and horseshoe pits in his own backyard, which is probably as far as I’d make it your way anyways. Well, nonetheless, here are seven classic super-awesome Sunday morning bloody mary huevos rancheros in a skillet type albums to be playing on your beat up ass component system you’ve acquired piece by piece over the years from various pawn shops and thrift stores, anchored by one of those giant silver receivers with huge knobs and little tachometers and shit like ‘70s mad science in full effect.

#1: ZZ Top – Tejas
I put this one first because this is probably the album that’s gotten the most spins on my turntable in the past two months. If you only know of ZZ Top for their ‘80s “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” era MTV renown, then you are missing the fuck out. Before they got all electronic and video-happy, they were one of the grimiest ass rock-n-roll bands you could ask for. There’s really no dissing a lot of their early work (Tres Hombres is most well-known, but ZZ Top’s First Album and Rio Grande Mud are even better), however, this Tejas record, I don’t know, ol’ Billy Gibbons was in a motherfuckin’ zone on this one. It’s got that same grimy blues rock they had become known for, but this album is mellower than fuck at the same time, but not in a faggot jam band type mellow way. More like taking mushrooms in the desert and shooting a pistol at rocks all day long type mellow, which is more befitting the redneck hippie mentality. I’m constantly changing the dumb shit I say should be played at my funeral… actually maybe I should explain redneck hippie funerals from where I grew up. Usually, they involve a bunch of longhaired people who never go to church going to a church in their finest pair of blue jeans, listening to some preacher talk for a bit, then we go bury the dude who had a massive stroke or wrecked a van or something get chunked in the ground. People will say very funny shit about the dude and how crazy but good he was by the grave, then everybody will go to one of his family member’s houses and everyone will drink a lot and do drugs around a large fire with music blaring for the next day or two. Seriously. I have been to two actual funerals in junkyards. One of them the dude actually had a pinebox coffin with a confederate flag draped over it and somebody opened the windows of their car and blasted “Freebird”. No shit. The shocking thing was THERE WERE PLENTY OF BLACK PEOPLE STANDING THERE, plus some orientals. Nothing racist about that dude in his actions, so no one would be all hung up about semantics and historics and all that analytical bullshit. Anyways, my point was, at my funeral, if someone just loops up “Asleep in the Desert” for like the half an hour people are shoveling dirt over me, that’d be fine. Of course, I’ll be a dead ass motherfucker, so it won’t really matter to me then.

#2: Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger
Willie Nelson is kind of the God of redneck hippies. Back in the ‘70s, once biker movies had opened people up to the fact that there was a breed of redneck that was probably more down with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda than the crewcut rednecks of Easy Rider (well, maybe not Peter Fonda, he was kinda preachy and shit), Willie let his hair grow out and started rocking for the drug-addled country folks of America. Outlaw country became a marketable genre and dudes grew an awesome variety of scraggly facial hair.
A lot of people love some Willie Nelson, but you can always tell a true Willie Nelson fan, like deep into the mix, if you ask them his best record and they say this one. Because really there is no other better Willie Nelson record, and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is a stupid fag who reads too much music critic pseudo-literary bullshit. Willie was making some good concept albums back in the ‘70s, with themes running throughout, which seems to be completely lost on modern musicians, maybe because modern formats are downloads instead of slabs of physical vinyl with two sides comprised of circles and all that new age aesthetic (hippie half of me firing up on that sentence). But Red Headed Stranger is seriously one of the greatest theme country records ever made. Shit, it’s one of my top five albums ever if I could only have five for the rest of my life. This is the perfect record for drunken Sunday mornings (like I said, redneck hippies don’t go to church unless someone is dead, but we tend to hold the story of Samson and Delilah in pretty high moral regard).
My two younger sisters actually went to see Willie Nelson tonight somewhere in North Carolina, and we will all meet up at my mom’s house tomorrow since my wife is out of town, and I’m sure we’ll all drink beer around a big fire and get the kids to do funny dances and my sisters will talk up how awesome the Willie Nelson show was, even though they’re both probably high as fuck on some sort of wacky neon-colored new-fangled weed strain so you can’t truss it completely, and I will be jealous I couldn’t go. But fuck it, someone’s got to bring up the next generation.

#3: The Charlie Daniels Band – Fire on the Mountain
Again, like ZZ Top, mainstream thought misses the boat on Charlie Daniels, though he has turned into a chump-ass in his old age. For most people, Charlie Daniels means that “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” song, and to put it in rap terms, it’s like when people talk about how awesome Outkast speaking on the “Hey Ya” song. It misses the rillest shit. For CDB, there are a trio of classic records that would be welcome in the redneck hippie’s record collection cabinet – Saddle Tramp, Nightrider, and this album. The only reason I chose this one is because it has “Long Haired Country Boy”, which is about a thousand times more of a “Freebird” style anthem to the average redneck hippie than “Freebird” is. Pop culture kinda ran with that “Freebird” stereotype, and it’s all too often sadly true at times, but “Long Haired Country Boy” is THE MOTHERFUCKIN’ ANTHEM. There is no higher song. Which is why Charlie Daniels seems a chump ass now. Original lyrics to that song go, “I get stoned in the morning, I get drunk in the afternoon,” and nowadays stupid assed Chuckie Fiddlehead sings, “I get up in the moring, I go down in the afternoon.” Fuck that shit. I understand growing old and wanting to distance yourself from reckless behavior, but fuck. What happened to that youthful attitude? I mean, Willie Nelson just had tour bus stopped last year full of mushrooms and weed, and he’s probably at least a decade older than Charlie Daniels. I guess Daniels wants to keep his corporate options open so he can fiddle around during Super Bowl halftime shows and use that overplayed “Devil” song to sell Hyundais to the fickle-minded.
Also, on a side note, just in case a person stumbles across this bullshit who is actually into this type of music, a motherfuckin’ awesome and not well known CDB album is Te John, Grease & Wolfman, which has alternate versions of a lot of their lesser known songs off the major three albums I mentioned, including a sick-ass redoing of “New York City King Sized Rosewood Bed”, of which the original version appears on Fire on the Mountain. Just in case you were wondering and shit.

#4: Lynyrd Skynyrd – Nuthin’ Fancy
Skynyrd is the basis for most of the worst stereotypes about redneck types, although their hit machine nature causing them to be overplayed on classic rock stations combined with that even though almost every original member is either dead or a vegan recluse now (what’s up Artimus, in case you’re googling yourself in between hatha yoga sessions), the band has reloaded with washed-up second and third-tier younger brothers and lesser southern rock guitarists to sort of become an almost cartoon copycat of the worst stereotypes you could think of the band. It’s sad. I wouldn’t go see a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert now if you paid me, drove me there, and got me high on the way. Shit, I turned down free tickets to see them FIFTEEN YEARS AGO!
Still, I think in the “LOL stupid Lynyrd Skynyrd racists!” way of thinking, people overlook how much good ass, good natured music they made beyond the Super ‘70s Mega-Hits. This record is probably my favorite by them, because outside of “Saturday Night Special”, it’s not chock full of said mega-hits, and there’s some great songs on here. Used to be whenever I made screwtop wine bottle mixtapes, the last two songs on side A, “Railroad Song” and “I’m a Country Boy” pretty much always made it into the mix. But still, pretty much every song on this album is great, with “Cheatin’ Woman” and “Am I Losin’” on top of the already mentioned bullshit. Oh yeah, I guess “Whiskey Rock and Roller” was a minor hit too to end the second side. Still, none of this shit, outside of “Saturday Night Special” is played out, and this a great album to be playing when a guard rail sneaks into the front end of your vehicle driving drunker than fuck late one night. But I mean, we all have to get home somehow, and you’re more likely to wreck your own shit than to kill a toddler playing kickball innocently in the front yard as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers would have you believe. In fact, I think a much better way to get people to not drink and drive would be for them to be honest and have a commercial that says, “Yeah, we know you’ve been drinking and you want to go home. But if we catch you in the process, it’s gonna be expensive as shit. Like a thousand beers expensive. When you see our lights and you’re all drunk trying to sneak back roads back home, it’s gonna be just like you just bought a thousand beers that you won’t get not even one of. And on top of that, you’re gonna have to spend the night in jail. Plus call your bitch of an ol’ lady to get her to come bail you out. And you know that’s gonna end up being triflin’ as fuck, too. So seriously, don’t let us catch you drinking and driving.”

#5: Black Oak Arkansas – Black Oak Arkansas
I never even really heard of these guys much growing up, and didn’t discover them till my mid-twenties, and they’re still playing and making music that pales compared to when they were young and hungry and wild and fucking lots of bitches. But their first couple records are some good shit. Actually, I’ll only outright vouch for two of them, When An Angel Comes to See You, Would You Make Her Feel At Home is a personal favorite, but you have to be deep into the backyard picnic table barefoot in the horseshoe pits mindframe to really appreciate that one. It’ll sound kinda stupid at times to an unlounged ear. But their self-titled debut is wacky Ozark redneck rock-n-roll raucousness, pure good shit. “Lord Have Mercy on My Soul” is a classic rock station cut, but the original album has a wacky organ-laced talking intro by Jim Dandy Mangrum (probably as much David Lee Roth as David Lee Roth ever was, but about ten years ahead of him) talking about dying but making a deal with the devil and god to come back to earth to make music. The whole album is great, and winds up with “When Electricity Came to Arkansas”, which is like one of those long-winded jams that late ‘60s bands used to have, just this one doesn’t have a dorky drum solo segment and seems to be fueled by moonshine and illegal fireworks.

#6: The Ozark Mountain Daredevils – It’ll Shine When It Shines
Probably the most easy listening of the seven choices I made, but I grew up with my dad playing this motherfucker every Sunday morning after a long night of Jim Beam and homegrown. Sundays, he’d always wake up early and start blaring music like this, sipping on a beer and making a giant breakfast full of unhealthy and awesome things. “Jackie Blue” I think was a minor hit for these guys, and is pure easy listening crap on its own, but mixed into the rest of the album, it’s not that bad. But seriously, the entire second side of “Walkin’ Down the Road”, “What’s Happened Along My Life”, “It Probably Always Will”, “Lowlands”, “Tidal Wave”, and “It’ll Shine When It Shines” is about as perfect a redneck hippie soundtrack you could ask for, encapsulating the entire, “Fuck it, I’m broke but I don’t really like busting my ass for some shithead no ways so I’m gonna sit right here and maybe plant a couple of tomato plants and see if Harold wants to come over and help me empty this cooler full of beer and maybe play some Spades.”

#7: David Allan Coe – Rides Again
No list of redneck hippie music would be complete without David Allan Coe. He is known for the whole “Oh shit, he made racist tapes in the ‘70s” thing, but seriously, David Allan Coe is as far removed from that as thirty years could make him. Dude is like 75, still playings shows about four days a week on a confederate flag flying V guitar, and his long hair and long beard are all dreaded up and nappy, he talks about people needing to be more open-minded then will sing a song about transsexuals or some shit, all while some weird new age fortysomething hippie panhead mama stands right off the stage as his around-the-clock handler. Dude is outta control.
You can’t even get David Allan Coe Rides Again as a single release anymore, as it was re-released combined with his other Longhaired Redneck album. Both are great albums, but Rides Again stands out a bit for me personally because each side doesn’t really have any breaks and each song bleeds into the next. And this one is full of great self-reckless but fuck it songs like “Laid Back and Wasted”, “Lately I’ve Been Thinking Too Much Lately”, and that great oft-cited classic (due to it’s single use of the dreaded N-word – “N” being capitalized to show just how dastardly that word is) “If That Ain’t Country”.
The thing is, David Allan Coe during this time was about as close to a rapper as any country musician has been, and not just because of the speed-talking delivery of lyrics in songs like “If That Ain’t Country”. Dude wore rhinestones and drove a big long Cadillac that he’d park in front of the Grand Ole Opry just to scare all the mainstream country folks who didn’t want his type there. And his albums at that time were sure to have pictures of him holding large wads of twenty dollar bills, probably a couple of guns, maybe a dog on a chain, or standing on top of said Cadillac, with mentions of his time in prison pretty easy to find.
I pretty much figure any day now I’ll read that David Allan Coe died, because that dude is old and has lived a hard ass life. Practicing biker-based polygamy, doing prison stints for manslaughter, and just generally living that image up for the most part, even to nowadays, where I doubt he drinks and shit like he would when he was young, but I refuse to believe any grey-haired dude with a dreadlocked beard does not dabble in illicit substances on the regular. I’m gonna be a sad dude when he dies, because I love going to his shows in Charlottesville and drunkenly picking fights with UVA fratboys. Also, it’s always a great show (of course, I’m usually halfway wasted, so you can’t truss it then either). Still, today’s so-called “country” music ain’t made of people like this guy, and alt.country is just another word for fag.suburb.
Oh well, fuck it. I guess I’ll just keep spinning old shit on the turntable.