Friday, February 11, 2011

Jimmy Martin - Drink Up and Go Home

You can listen to a sample on Disc 3 here.

Apparently I'm not the only person who thinks Jimmy Martin is one of the greatest hillbilly artists ever, right up there with other greats like Hank Williams and George Jones.  He is called the King of Bluegrass, after all.  (Although I think he may have started that himself - he was a big self-promoter.)

For my birthday last year my in-laws got me a big Bear Family box set with a lot (I don't think all, but I may be wrong) of his material between 54 and 74.  Its not a greatest hits set - its supposed to be comprehensive.  But it sure seems like a greatest hits set.  Just song after song of great hillbilly music.

I don't think its accurate to call him a bluegrass singer.  A lot of this is what I call honky tonk with a banjo, which is a real sweet spot for me.  And his voice is just nuts - seriously Jimmy Martin sounds as good as George Jones to me.

This is one of many surprising songs for me in this box set.  Strangely I'd never heard it.  I say its strange given that from a google search it seems like tons of people have covered it.  It was originally done by a guy named Freddie Hart apparently just a few years before Jimmy did it.  I don't know anything about Freddie Hart, other than that he doesn't sound like he sings my kind of music.

Anyway, back to this song, its kind of funny to hear Jimmy Martin telling people not to cry in their beer about their troubles.  He made a career out of singing about crying over your troubles!  But the delivery on this song is just awesome.  And every time he wails out the line below, I just about can't help doing the same thing myself.

Killer Line - "I'm fresh out of prison, six years in the pen, lost my wife and family, no one to call friend"

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