Oct
21

Album Review – Ronnie Hymes “UnIncorporated”

October 21, 2010 - By Trigger  //  Reviews  //  25 Comments

I really like this album, and I’m going to tell you why:

Back in the 90′s and the early ought’s, the only resort for bands that wanted to do their own recordings were these crappy Tascam and Roland 4-track machines that mixed down to cassette. If you had some serious dough, maybe you could get an 8-track that mixed down to CD, but they usually only had two audio inputs and were heroically hard to use.

90% of the homemade projects that came from that era were virtually worthless, but every once in a while you would get a true gem, not in spite of the technology, but because of it. Just like giving birth in your house with a midwife instead of a sanitized hospital, the homegrown, un-studio feeling of a well done home record can be something very special, with a REAL feel, a soul forged in a homemade spirit, something to be proud of like Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors. Hank III’s Straight to Hell was recorded on one of these late-era track machines, and has that same feel that can’t be faked in a studio.

Unfortunately the mainstream availability of studio-quality recording devices has bled some of that feeling out of many recordings, but not this one. And not only does it have the homegrown feeling, you can also tell that heart and time was put into this project. It was made with patience, and you can tell it all came out like envisioned.

UnIncorporated is a fun album with great songs that is not afraid to get too deep, or at times to be refreshingly immature. The musicianship is not superlative, but it is solid, and the heart of each song is purely captured. “Hellbilly” Ronnie Hymes has a voice like “Hellbilly” Ronnie Hymes, that keeps you hanging on every verse when the words don’t, which is not very often. He really knows how to use vocal inflections for emphasis, and how to sing how he feels instead of just singing the words.

There are a lot of fun songs here, including “Gear Slamm’n Daddy” (the only song Ronnie did not write), “Dueling Kazoo,” and “That Don’t Make Me Wrong,” in which Hymes figures out how to be self-righteous and self-deprecating all at the same time to deal with everyday road rage. This album has a real ‘everyday hero’ feel to it, with songs like “My Baby” about his significant other, and the touching “Summers Gone” about the all too common visitation father, and the tough feelings of guilt and pain and love that goes into a long distance relationship with your child.

The beauty of this album is it’s roots in truth. When so many Nashville products try to sing about the common man’s common struggles, they have to do it from the outside looking in. What Ronnie is doing is getting what is inside out, to keep his sanity.

The title track “UnIncorporated” is a great song that hits on the same themes the song “Wish” by Left Arm Tan does that I reviewed a while back; that being that you should be happy being yourself, and not bend your ways to anybody (especially Nashville). However with all the good songwriting here, I swear the wittiest song here is ostensibly a commercial. “The Redneck Minute” entertains you simply by the imaginative phrase turning, even if you’ve never seen Big D’s Redneck Minute.

This album has its warts and weak songs, just like most all albums do. But since this isn’t some studio project put out by a slick label, the flaws are understandable and forgivable, if not endearing. As bawdy and bellicose as this album is at times, you can tell it was made with love, like mother’s apple pie. Homemade. True. Real. UnIncorporated.

Two guns up!

Purchase or Preview Tracks of Unincorporated from CD Baby!

Ronnie in a homemade video, singing the first track of the album:

25 Comments to “Album Review – Ronnie Hymes “UnIncorporated””

  • Been doing a lot of shows with Mr. Hymes with my band Cattletruck, and I can tell you he is the real deal; plus, he’s one hell of an entertainer — high energy and raw. Pick this CD up…it’s the best damn thing I’ve heard this year.

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    • You can tell Ronnie is a great entertainer live just by listening to this CD. That’s a sign of a good recording.

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  • great work by a great personal friend mr. ronnie hymes…

    clean and honest review thanks triggerman

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  • Ok. He had me at kazoo. Great blog Triggerman.

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    • love the kazzooo awesome!

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      • Yeah, not everybody can rock the kazoo and make it cool. It fits him perfect.

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  • FIRST I WANT TO THANK YOU TRIGGERMAN FOR GETTING TO THIS AS QUICK AS YOU DID..ALTHOUGH I’VE KNOWN RONNIE A LITTLE UNDER 2 YRS.HE IS THE KIND OF PERSON THAT DON’T COME ALONG IN YOUR LIFE THAT OFTEN..HE IS REAL AND SHOOTS FROM THE HIP..WE HIT IT OFF LIKE THAT AND I COUNT HIM AS ONE OF THE BEST FRIENDS I HAVE..I HAD THE PLEASURE OF GETTING TO HEAR MOST OF THIS HEART FELT CD AS IT WAS BEING MADE..RONNIE PLAYED ME SOME OF IT WHEN HE WAS RECORDING IT..HE IS A FRIEND BUT I GIVE HIM MY HONEST OPINION..IF YOU KNOW ME I DON’T SUGAR COAT NOTHING SO HE GOT WHAT ANYONE GETS..DO I LIKE IT BECAUSE HE IS MY FRIEND?YES BUT IT WOULDN’T MAKE ME LISTEN TO IT 10 TIMES SINCE IT’S RELEASE..THIS IS VERY ENJOYABLE LISTENING FROM START TO FINISH..HE PUT A LOT OF LOVE AND COMPASSION INTO THE MAKING OF IT..REAL LIFE WRITING AND MUSIC..HE WORKED HARD DOING THIS ALL HIS SELF SO I’M ASKING YOU TO SUPPORT THIS UNDERGROUND ARTIST BY BUYING THIS CD..YOU WILL NOT BE SORRY..RONNIE ALSO DOES A GREAT LIVE SHOW SO IF YOU CAN GO SEE HIM..THANK YOU RONNIE FOR ALL YOU DO,FOR BEING MY FRIEND AND FUTURE MUSIC TO COME..I WANT TO THANK STEADY HANDS YVONNE FOR SUPPORTING RONNIE,DOING THE VIDEOS,PICS AND GIVING HIM THE TIME TO DO THIS..RONNIE DOES REAL MUSIC FOR REAL PEOPLE!!!

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    • Sometimes you can tell how much I like an album by how quickly the review gets written. I have a stack of review CD’s, and they are categorized by when I receive them, and then other factors can make them move up and down the stack. I gave this one a first listen and it didn’t even make it to the stack. I opened a page on the computer and started typing about it.

      I don’t know Ronnie from Adam beyond his music, but you and others have commented here and other places about what a great guy he is, and just like I said in another comment how I could tell he was a good performer by this recording, I can tell he’s a good guy from this recording.

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  • I just needed to see the homevideo to know that ronnie hymes knows how to play a song just right. I think he could sing a page of the phonebook and make a country-song out of it. And I sure would like to see him on stage, but I think that I would very accurately have to plan a trip to the USA.
    Thanks Triggerman, there’s always the real music.

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  • Think I will order this one

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  • I really like “Sea of Sin” from the Outlaw Radio compilation, and your review makes me want to hear more.
    I’m more interested than ever to hear what you’ll think of my demo Triggerman, since it was recorded on one of those late 90′s Tascam 4-track portastudios. Keep in mind I don’t know shit about mixing, but that’s why I call it a “demo”!

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    • Yours is on the top of the stack now.

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  • Ronnie is big friend of the show, and I’m loving the new album.

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    • I see your name in the liner notes. Also see Bandana’s, Jashie P, and Blake of IBWIP.

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  • Ronnie is a great guy, and one hell of a musician. I haven’t had a chance to hear the record, yet, but I plan on it.

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  • ronnie sent me 5 c.ds and i put one in the’ole peterbuilt and started down the road and by the time i hit the first stop sign i was fuck’n shake’n by how much he had give’n of himself to this album.and i called him later that mourning to sing his praises and his response was “chris,if i knew what i was doing i’d be dangerous”and i said to myself”you know exactly what your doing”you wait until the barn is loaded with hay and then you burn it to the ground!!! chris carter…

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    • Great song Chris.

      He also co-wrote “Rails of Doom” folks, which appears in two different versions on the album.

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  • great stuff! yer breakin me Triggerman! Get some more of that stuff on here that I don’t wanna buy…

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    • My review batteries are on recharge now after a couple of big ones this week, so maybe that will give you a breather. This has been a banner year for music. And it keeps coming.

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  • 2 guns up!!!!
    great review….all they say about Ronnie is the truth!

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  • i want to thank you for this review .. i think Ronnie Hymes is one of the best HELLBILLYS out there.. i am going to have some videos of him live in Asheville on my youtube page tomorrow … thanks again .. THE REDNECK MINUTE loves yalls ass

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    • Thanks for all you do too Big D, we’ll check those videos out!

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  • mr. bandanna? buschcountry?

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  • Really like the album. As soon as I got my pay for this month it will be mine!

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  • Thanks to everyone for the kind words. And thank you Trigger Man for the fast review…much appreciated.

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