Hamper McBee – The Good Old-Fashioned Way

January 01, 1970


(Twos and Fews-Drag




Originally discovered by American folk musicologist Guy
Carawan in 1964, Hamper McBee of Monteagle, Tennessee,
was a local luminary from the Smoky
Mountains region who
loved Burl Ives, mashed his own moonshine and served as a barker on the
carnival circuit. He sang, too. Not very good, mind you, but enough to attract
Carawan’s attention and produce a field recording of Hamper’s songs and stories
for an album released in 1965 on the Prestige label called Hamper McBee, Cumberland Moonshiner


This compilation on the Drag City
subsidiary imprint Twos and Fews gathers together several tracks from that incredibly
hard-to-find LP along with material from a recording session that went down at
Hamper’s home in 1977 by country music scholar Charles K. Wolf for the
soundtrack to a film called Hamper McBee:
Raw Mash
, co-directed by Sol Korine (the father of outsider filmmaker
Harmony Korine, who co-produced this collection). Filled with warbly covers of
old-timey country ballads and crazed, drunken tales of an outlaw life very few
can claim to have lived, The Good
Old-Fashioned Way
is a wonderful oddity of Old Weird America in dire need
of discovery if you harbor any remote interest in either Alan Lomax at his most
bizarre or John Boorman’s Deliverance
or both, for that matter.


Jail”, “Young Roger the Miller”, “Jack of Diamonds”, “Shady Grove” RON HART


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