by Leonard Emmanuel


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With so many music publications publishing lists of records various people would want to have with them in lieu of contact with the rest of civilization or in case of some other extreme emergency, the time has to come to figure what type of album might make all such collections obsolete. Better yet, what about an album that might actually lead to someone being rescued from their desert-island doom? Hollerin' is this record. Played on a large enough stereo system, this is a record that will summon the Coast Guard, several dozen private rescue operations, and rows of native paddling dugouts with fruit baskets in them. In the vast Rounder discography there is no other record that so justly deserves the over-used adjective "awesome." Everything about this record in indeed awe-inspiring, beginning with one of the great covers of all time, the album title Hollerin' coming out of the mouths of one of the hollerers. The listener will meet the latter breed here -- folks such as Leonard Emanuel, hollering champion in 1971. The annual hollering contest held in Spivey's Corner, NC, has been reported enough as an oddity on evening news programs that it is safe to assume most Americans are familiar with the idea, while for people growing up in many rural parts of the country the idea of strange loud voices carrying messages of some sort in the distance isn't so unusual. These are a type of virtuoso vocal performance, and one could be tempted to say this represents technical skill and is fraught with an intensity of performance that exists apart from the concert stage and the world of art music, but that would be ignoring the competitive nature of the hollering contest and the zest with which its participants throw themselves into bettering each other. All of which, of course, is similar to the energy one might find in a performance of a violin sonata or a jazz drum solo. Neither of which are as fun to listen to as the H.H. Oliver demonstration entitled "Rafting Logs Down Neuse River" or any of the brilliant performances by Paul Parker; take your pick -- "Calling Cows, Mules, Hogs" is better than anything Elton John ever recorded, but so is either "Calling Dogs" or just plain "Calling Cows." If all that gets an animal lover's attention, stay tuned. Leonard Emanuel also performs his own versions of calling some of the above creatures, as well as the marvelous "Mocking a Fox" and the truly chilling portrait entitled "A Cornered 'Coon." "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" is the subject of another holler, so rowdy that it might discourage the old fellow from coming down this particular chimney, not that hillbilly O.B. Jackson has a chimney. Animals even perform on this record as well. Has there been a better track ever recorded than the simple "Holler," credited to Dan McLamb & His Three Legged Dog Percy? Probably not. Floyd Lee yowls his away across the county and through the history of technology, performing an "Old Time Holler" and then later "Hollering in an Automobile," but he really is miraculous when "Stopping a Rabbit With a Holler." Some of the most frequent users of this type of record -- which makes it sound like some kind of illegal drug, which maybe Hollerin' ought to be -- are underground radio or performing DJs looking for something totally off the wall, guaranteed to stop every conversation in the place cold. A terrific booklet enclosed inside will provide as much information as anyone will ever need about hollering, a text that once absorbed will lead to a new understanding and deeper respect of this timeless form of music-making. Now, let's go call some chickens.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/20/1995
Label: Rounder Select
UPC: 0011661007123
catalogNumber: 71

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