BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006: Micah P Hinson

 |   |  1 min read

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2006: Micah P Hinson
Micah P Hinson and the Opera Circuit (Sketchbook/EMI) Hinson from Texas came to Auckland in August last year for a low-key show at the Wine Bar on K Rd, playing to a capacity audience of about . . . ahh, maybe 30 people. No matter, he was darkly engrossing and his spare songs of loss and pain wouldn't have sounded out of place if Kurt Cobain had sung them. (Not dissimilar drug problems for a period in Hinson's life incidentally) His album at that time -- Micah P Hinson and the Gospel of Progress -- was gripping and scored a rare five stars in the Herald ("a classic debut" said Russell Baillie), and it ended up on the newspaper's Best of 2006 list. At that time I wrote (at least I think it was me) "his melancholy, lovelorn alt-country songs came from deep and considered places, and the sense of emotional despair was offset by gorgeous tunes and intelligent, ambitious arrangements". That all remains intact for his 11-track third album which again sports brooding arrangements of cello, mandolin, banjo, guitars, trombone, old upright piano and so on. There is a slight country flavour in places (even a touch of Tex-Mex), but here he extends himself with unusual string arrangements which atmospherically underscore the pathos, or add some extra impact to the density of the emotions. Hinson is probably always fated to be a minor figure, but his tobacco-cured voice, open-wound emotions and genuine feel for a simple yet affecting melody make him someone very much worth having around the house as an intelligent and welcome guest.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Black Leaf: The Black Leaf (Waht Records)

The Black Leaf: The Black Leaf (Waht Records)

We'll start at the start on The Black Leaf and Waht Records: this first posting is of the home-studio debut album by Aucklander Mark Howden (aka The Black Leaf) and from what I read Waht Records... > Read more

Solomon Burke: Nothing's Impossible (Shock)

Solomon Burke: Nothing's Impossible (Shock)

The extraordinary Solomon Burke has enjoyed that rarity in popular music, not just a second coming but a sustained one. Music history is full of acts who come back after their first seminal... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Delroy Wilson: Mash Up Illiteracy (1974)

Delroy Wilson: Mash Up Illiteracy (1974)

In Third World countries music is often the vehicle for social messages and political comment because it gets directly to people who may be unable to read a newspaper or otherwise have access to... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE DVDs 2008 Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution (DVD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE DVDs 2008 Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution (DVD)

Not only does this excellent overview of the German electronic scene come in at a whopping and thorough three hours, but it also has good timing: it is released just as Kraftwerk make a rare return... > Read more