Jan
23

American Idol Courts Roots Fans w/ Jason “Wolf” Hamlin

January 23, 2012 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  81 Comments

You knew it was bound to happen sometime.

Sporting a squared off pompadour, work shirt, bushy beard, and a mess of tattoos, American Idol introduced Jason “Wolf” Hamlin as one of this year’s contestants on the episode that aired Sunday night. This mechanic-by-trade came in with his “guit-fiddle” (guitar) and sang a “CCR” song (which the well-versed would recognize as Leadbelly’s “Midnight Special”), and then when Steven Tyler asked him to sing another, he sang Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”.

And then the emails started coming, and the chatter raised on various social networking channels Saving Country Music patrols seemed positive for “Wolf” with many saying, “Well hell, if he’s gonna be on there, I may actually watch this year!”

…and now you know why he was featured.

And “Wolf” was not only featured on an audition, he was significantly highlighted on the episode. They sent a production crew to his job as a golf course mechanic, got an in-depth interview with him, etc. I’m assuming all of this stuff happened after his audition. I mean, they wouldn’t go though all that trouble pre-audition unless they already determined he would be a contestant or would be featured, would they?

…and now you know a little more of what’s going on here.

Look, the blue-collar “roots” demographic, though seemingly small because it is traditionally ignored by the mainstream, is in many ways blowing up as a cultural force. American Idol did not “pick” Jason Hamlin, they “chose” him, and specifically chose to make him a significant focus of their episode.

And American Idol isn’t the only one all-of-a-sudden paying attention to the independent roots music world. The shift of the punk culture into roots music is a very real, culturally-significant phenomenon that the greater world is taking notice of. And they are courting the roots fan for the passion and loyalty that are recognized as top attributes of their behavior.

Century Media, a traditionally heavy metal label recently started a roots division for artists like Joe Buck and Bob Wayne. Victory Records, who some will give credit for “killing” punk music, has announced a roots project with so far an unknown specificity. And there’s a pretty solid rumor out there that Kevin Lyman of The Warped Tour and the Country Throwdown Tour is putting plans together for a “roots” version of the annual touring festival, possibly as early as this year. We’ll see.

As for Jason “Wolf” Hamlin, he could be a great thing, or he could be a horrible thing. We don’t know the guy, and we shouldn’t pretend we do, and we should understand he’s just a mechanic at a golf course who likes Johnny Cash. Or is he? And sure, he could be a shill for FOX producers hoping to bring the burgeoning masses of roots fans into the fold. Or, he could be the country music Messiah that I’ve been dreaming of (and Eric Church mocks me for). Or he could dive out in the first few weeks and all this consternation is for naught, unless in the process he actually exposes some kids to some real music they would otherwise not be.

But be wary friends and neighbors. If you reacted positively to seeing Jason “Wolf” Hamlin on American Idol and said “Well hell, I kind of like this guy. I may actually watch this stupid show this year!” just understand that is exactly what the folks in Hollywood wanted you to say.

Here is Wolf performing an original song.

81 Comments to “American Idol Courts Roots Fans w/ Jason “Wolf” Hamlin”

  • Hey Trig! When I saw the new season of AI was coming I was hoping you’d have the time to tune in. As you know, I followed it very closely last season and was very heartened by what I was seeing throughout the audition process and with some contestants who made it into the Top 12.

    Luckily, we are getting a satellite feed of the show here, so are only a day behind. However, I’ve been busy this weekend and have not yet been able to watch the first two episodes that I have on my PVR yet. This has made me very very excited to watch it. I’ll feedback when I’ve watched it in the next couple of days!

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  • Wow, did they offer to pay him for every time he said guit-fiddle?

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    • Yeah, that word was the one time my radar was beeping that this was a put-on. I’m around musicians a lot, including old country and blues musicians, and about the only person I’ve ever heard refer to a guitar as a “guit-fiddle” is “Wolf”. But with all due respect, he said his father built it, and his father may have called it that. Again, we don’t know this dude from Adam. It’s easy to pick this guy apart from a 5 minute piece on a prime time show.

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      • really come on…..this guy is an awesome person and would do anything and everything for anyone. he had a great personality, and a all around good person. Give the guy a chance before you go talking on and on about him. He has come a long ways to get where hes at. He is a very strong willed person and goes after what he wants in life. everything he has and everything that hes done in life he has worked very hard at. and the “guit fiddle” came from his father, and he is no longer with us, so lets have some respect. Thats how jason was raised, his doin this for this father who was a big part of his life. Jason you are an awesome guy, I miss you and wish you the best of luck. Keep goin and keep making us proud! we all support you and your dad is right there beside you!

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        • With all due respect man, I know it is easy to roll up to an article like this and think it is all negative, but I think I’ve gone out my my way to say that I, or we, don’t know this guy from Adam, and we shouldn’t stereotype him as anything at this point. This is what I said up above:

          “We don’t know the guy, and we shouldn’t pretend we do, and we should understand he’s just a mechanic at a golf course who likes Johnny Cash. . . .he could be the country music Messiah that I’ve been dreaming of.”

          And as far as his “guit-fiddle”, just like I said in the comment you’re responding to:

          “But with all due respect, he said his father built it, and his father may have called it that.”

          But man, excuse me if others and I are a little leery or suspicious. I am suspicious of EVERYTHING that comes on the boob tube, especially from American Idol. If he turns out to be the real deal, then hell’s yeah. I will pick up the pom poms and be his biggest supporter. But I got to see it with my own eyes first.

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  • never watched ‘idol’ and i’m not starting now.

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    • You speak for me , friend . I hated popularity contests in grade school and continue to hate them as an adult . They’d have to bring Vern Gosdin back for me to tune in .

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  • i am a music fan but i am not the judgemental type. i like music based on music alone. i actually like both carrie underwood and lucky tubb, garth brooks and jason arnold, and dierks bentley and jason isbell.

    american idol is just a business venture like everything else. no wonder they wanna cover all kinds of demographics. and if that’s a way for a young man like this guy to get noticed then why not? sure posers would soon follow as well as copycats but then real music fan knows how to discern the good from the mediocre

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  • Even if this dude is the real deal in style and substance, you don’t emerge from American Idol and become a shot-caller. Carrie Underwood came through this exact same process and I don’t have any problem with her. Maybe some kids will get exposed to some good music, that’s great. That’s all I would hope for. Regardless of how well “Wolf” does, this is the OPPOSITE of a gamechanger. The corporate world is still just mining the unerground for profitability.

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    • I’ve never had even one issue with Carrie Underwood in the 4 years running this site. Not saying I’m a fan, but I think she’s risen above the American Idol typecasting.

      Scotty McCreery, or “Country Music’s Milli Vanilli” as I like to call him, is about as fake as it gets. Good voice, but the two times I’ve seen him perform, both were lip synced, and lip synced bad.

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  • I hardly ever comment on here but its Monday morning and I aint got a job or shit to do so I figured what the hell.

    I understand that you have to have something to write about because you’re a journalist and that’s what you do but come on man, the worlds not out to get us based on the music we listen to. You make this sound like some big conspiracy that the main stream world is trying to take our music from us. Let em! Chances are this guy is just some mechanic with a beard that likes Johnny Cash, there are a lot of those out there. But God forbid American Idol picked someone that’s taste in music is similar to that of ours and he gets up on national tv and sings a Jayke Orvis song. God forbid people get exposed to it and, dare I say, like it, and buy it, and come to the shows. I’m all for it man, I’ve got bills to pay

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    • “But God forbid American Idol picked someone that’s taste in music is similar to that of ours and he gets up on national tv and sings a Jayke Orvis song.”

      No, I totally agree Jared. I’m not saying this is a conspiracy, I’m saying I don’t know what to make of it yet, and I think I went out of my way to say we don’t know “Wolf” and we shouldn’t pretend we do. The main thing I wanted to point out is after his appearance there’s a lot of people engaged with American Idol now that weren’t previously because of this guy. And I wanted people to just take a step back and realize this and ask, “Why”?

      If the dude turns out to be real and is playing Jayke Orvis on the show, you will probably not see a bigger supporter of him that me. And there is some precedence here. Six Gun Britt tried out a couple years ago, but unfortunately did not get very far.

      http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/six-gun-britt-to-tackle-american-idol

      http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/conclusion-six-gun-britt-american-idol

      And I think the most important fact here is not that they chose this dude as a contestant, but that they decided to do a 5 minutes in-depth piece on him, which is an eternity for network TV. The producers of this show though this out very carefully, trust me. There loads of thought in how every second is constructed on that show.

      And as for things to write about, trust me, I could have gone not writing about this. I was up way past when my coach normally turns back into a pumpkin pushing this out, mainly because of the barrage of emails I got asking my take.

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      • My wife is an on-again off-again Idol watcher. I don’t think this is the first time thy’ve done something like this. I remember something similar a couple of years where they had a reeaaallll country girl from rural Tennessee on. My wife taped her performance and clued me in about her as she knows I go for the roots. They did a feature on her as well. She sang Old Crow Medicine Show’s Wagon Wheel (she loved that song, she said). I remember her talking about not wanting people to make fun of her because she was so country. She did a nice job, although guest judge Mary J. Blige seemed to be looking at this girl like she was from outer space. She made it to “Hollywood,” but my wife told me she seemed to wilt under the pressure there and didn’t advance any further.

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        • I think this is different. There is a specific “roots” demographic that is different from the “real country” demographic that combines the roots of country, punk, blues, and rockabilly in some respects, and that is more what is embodied I think in Wolf’s image.

          And that is one of the reasons I thought it was important to comment, because I see this as a wider trend right now as I highlighted up above. The massive success of bands like The Black Keys and The Avett Brothers that also bridge these worlds is feuling the look for the “next one”.

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          • The late success of the Black Keys blows my mind a little. I think Brothers is closing in on a million copies sold. In DC, they’ll be playing at the Verizon Center, which is like a 20,000 seat arena (too big a venue for me anymore). And they haven’t sold their soul musically. I like what I heard about their reaction to the runaway success of Brothers. They went back into the studio to make another record so as to ground themselves and not get swept away with it all.

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  • I dunno… “Wolf” seemed like a nice kid but we’ll see if he makes it much past the preliminaries. Seems like they handed out a pretty thick stack of those so called Golden Tickets. FYI I know this because I have a wife and two daughters who will watch every second of Idol, and I don’t have the sense to leave the room!

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    • my wife watches every second as well. she TIVO’s it then politely watches it after i’ve gone to bed. god bless her.

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  • Jess already has a band. Calamity Cubes! Oh, wait……

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    • I mean Brook, whoops.

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    • Ha! I totally though of him when I saw this dude! Him and Jason Buchanan from Muddy Roots.

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  • I really like this guy so far. It’s funny my girlfriend said before I even heard him sing she knew I would like this guy just because of his style…since she knows by all the “underground” country bands we go see…and she was exactly right. We both believe he will do good but will probably never make it all the way through Idol just because artists like that are original and can usually only do one style of music. Once they make them pick an R&B or Pop song they bomb. I hope he does but I think Idol and music bigwigs realize that there is a market for these type of roots artists because look at some of their past artists who got alot of attention but never won…Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart, Crystal Bowersox, etc. They all were big in the audiences eyes but just couldn’t pull of other genres of music that didn’t already fit their style.

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    • Yeah, and if we fall in love with this guy, and then he’s up there singing Brittney Spears in pigtails, what do we do then?

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      • If he’s up there in pigtails singing a Britney Spears song then I would say we could bash on him because he wasn’t creative enought to take the Britney Spears song and do a “roots” rendition of it.

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  • Sounds like another American Idol “Kellie Pickler” is coming out with a “roots” country record. Sounds like things may be changing in Nashville. Let’s hope and pray.

    http://www.theboot.com/2012/01/20/kellie-pickler-interview-100-proof/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBootCountryMusic+%28The+Boot+Country+Music+Blog%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

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  • I have a few concerns with people with such an image as this “Wolf” guy. If he wants to come off as such an outlaw and against the grain in society, then why would he get on a show like American Idol. The guy obviously looks like he would know a thing or two about roots or underground music. If he does then he should be ashamed of himself by trying to start his music career off this way. If he doesn’t know anything about roots or underground music, then he’s a complete tool and disregards any respect for the art of music.

    I had the same ideas on Casey Abrams and Crystal Bowersox. Have some respect for not only your identity, but your genre of music. The roots underground music that you love so much should not be defiled by a pop culture entity such as American Idol. And you cannot give me any non-sense such as someone becoming a country “savior” through this show. I automatically dismiss them if they show their face on this so called “un-scripted” and “un-planned” show.

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    • If dude is a golf course mechanic who sings and plays country, he’s probably surrounded by folks telling him to go on American Idol. I know I have been. When word got out that I was quitting my day job, that was the #1 question I was asked. “Are you gonna try out for American Idol?” I said NO and explained why, but I’m a dick. If Idol came to town, wolf tried out, got told by producers that he was so great, it would be harder to turn back.

      Waylon had a starring role in the film “Nashville Rebel” which basically cliched everything he’s come to stand for. That’s not that much different than Idol today. I wouldn’t place any bets now. I’m just saying that maybe 15 years from now, things will look different.

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    • Totally understand and respect what you’re saying Bates, but I’ve thought for a while now that one of the ways to bring the system down is from within. If there was actually someone with their head on straight that could infiltrate this system and use the bullhorn of American Idol or any other pop culture institution for good, then I say hell’s yeah. The problem is someone independent minded enough rarely gets far enough to be effective. But we’ll see.

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    • Bates,
      Read my post below. Wolf is real, what you saw was really him.

      He went on the show to honor his dad and show the world the Wolf guitar that he made. And he did it. Nice close up of the head stock and good sound. He is proud of the guitar and he wanted to show it to the world.

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      • Amen brother!!! Grew up with Steve (Wolf’s uncle), Scot(his dad), and his aunts Kim and Teri in Eudora, Kansas and proud of it. Not to mention his mother Nancy and her sister, Tracy. Did I mention his grandmother Nell who can sing and yodel like nobody’s business? These people are salt of the earth and ALL exude talent, his brother Zack and sister Hannah are amazingly talented as well. I dare say that back in the day had there been a forum like AI to showcase their talent most if not all of them would have. Give him a break – he is the real deal, what you see is what you get – he has one goal in mind, to honor his dad, make the people that know and love him proud, and share his music with the world. And how wonderful if the current generation gravitates towards his ‘cool’ factor and embraces a time proven and original, American style of music that simply tells a story with a beat that wants us to tap our foot and sing along – without our pants on the ground. Amen to that! Keep keeping on Wolf – you and your git fiddle gave me goosebumps and I’ll be watching!

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        • I have goosebumps to know how he holds such honor to his pops! I’m from Jason’s current town of Livermore and let me say, we here are all cheering him on this journey. I read an article about the Hamlin Guitar, and in it, Scot Hamlin said how he wanted to make a guitar for an up and coming star… Well he did! Little did he know it be his son… Good Luck to Wolf and his family!

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          • Livermore,

            That was Scot’s biggest wish. I heard him say that more than once. I didn’t make the connection until you brought it up. Brought tears to my eyse.

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  • What would we say about this today. it looks a lot like the same bullshit doesn’t it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M7UzycCRU4

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    • Exactly. Both Willie and Waylon started in the system.

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  • to all of you that have doubts bout wolf go to youtube and look up the long road by wolf hamlin. I enjoy all of his songs, he puts his heart and soul into them. He writes and sings his own music!!! Music is in his blood and i think that he has something special goin on. Jason you have all of eudoras support behind you we look forward to seeing more of you. good luck buddy, we miss you. come see us soon.

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  • Triggerman,
    I am Wolf’s uncle, I have know that kid since he was born, watched him grow up and now watch along with the rest of the world as he tries to make his way into the music business. I promise you what you saw on Idol was real. Jason or Wolf has he likes to be called is the real deal.

    He is a raw talent. He has a good strong voice and plays his wolf guitar (or git-fiddle) that his father Scot, my big brother made. The guitar is his prized possession, especially now that Scot passed away suddenly 2 years ago. I was very happy for Jason and proud of him for his performance on Idol. I am so glad that he got to play his guitar, his dad would have been so proud, we all are.

    Wolf has posted several songs including an original called “Long Road” on Youtube and Itunes. If you want to hear more of him please check them out. He is actually a lot better than he sounded on Idol.

    Thanks for giving him some attention.

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    • It’s a nice looking guitar for sure. I posted the video for “Long Road” into the article above.

      And I’m glad that you understand I am not “attacking” Wolf in any way. I more wanted to open a discussion about what the impact is of him being on the show. There is American Idol, and then there’s a guy named Jason Hamlin, and we should be wise to separate the two, but for a lot of serious music fans, American Idol means something negative, and that is why there will be a negative reaction from some.

      Just like you are Jason’s family, and it is your place to support him, or defend him if necessary, there is a family of country and roots fans that have built websites like this, radio shows, podcasts, festivals, touring circuits, record labels, etc., because the mainstream has refused to support this type of music for years. Jason may or may not know this world even exists, or may only know if it scantly. In the last few years, Music Row in Nashville that controls country music has taken the image of the country music “Outlaw” from the 70′s (aka Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings & others) that this current “family” of independent country and roots is an extension of, and exploited it for commercial purposes. That is why some are going to be leery when they see Wolf rubbing elbows with American Idol. But it has been and will be my focus to tell folks to make up their own minds and let Jason stand on his own two feet, and if he proves to be the real deal, support him regardless of how they feel about the American Idol institution.

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      • The fact that Jason was on TV Sunday night and UncleHammy was able to find SCM on Monday shows proof-of-concept. Saving Country Music acts as a hub for a very real community. We are successfully pushing [our styles] of music into the mainstream. In turn, American Idol could help send some folks our way. Just know that American Idol ain’t in the business of helping independent artists. While it may not be as glamorous, people here do CARE about the music and the PEOPLE who create and support it.

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  • He does resemble Jason Buchanan! I don’t get that channel as we prefer not to spend our hard earned money on cable television but the guy is good. What would they think if a “Goddamn Gallows type” with the tatted up face and blood on the banjo walked up and auditioned? That’s a clip that I would like to see! I am sort-of confused about why “people like us” would even try to go mainstream though.

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    • “I am sort-of confused about why “people like us” would even try to go mainstream though”

      That’s critical right now. I just know that for years, I had NO idea what the music business was, how it worked, how you got into it, etc. Most of America believes that you “pay your dues” until you get “your big break” and are “discovered” by someone with “connections”. That’s why everyone is expected to WANT to go on American Idol.

      Does this make sense?: I would LOVE to sell millions of records but, not if it meant “going mainstream”. I think that’s where we’re headed. We want the stream (main or otherwise) to come to us on our own terms.

      I googled “jason wolf hamlin” and found his reverbnation page but couldn’t find a link to buy a CD. How can I support him then? Vote for him on Idol? Nope.

      I googled “calamity cubes” and found myspace, facebook, and reverbnation. All the tour dates are easy to find. It took a minute but I found a link to buy CDs directly. This gives me a chance to “support” the band in a real way. The band gets control of the music and the money. Who needs the mainstream in that case? The exposure and the money could get better if the stream swells a bit. I’m OK with that.

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      • Chad,

        Check Wolf out on Itunes for 99 cents.

        He did make a low quality CD on his own about a year ago, but it was self produced so there is no good way to distribute it. He has 2 Facebook pages, one is his personal page the other is his “musician” page, he may be able to get a copy to people through those pages.

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  • Why is it bad that this guy got on Idol and isn’t your run of the mill pop star?

    Sure maybe he is that “outlaw” image being conjured up by Nashville, but just as Idol lead the pop-country charge, Idol can be an allie to lead some real music back into Nashville.

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  • How about Crystal Bowersox? She’s an orginal artist on the rootsy side and she won the damn thing.Seems to me AI made sure after that it would never happen again.

    I think hey picked “The Wolf” because they saw this years Casey Abrams in him.Hairy and funny.Talent is secondary.The howling wolf guy will be great for ratings.It’s really nothing new as they have picked people out of the mainstream quite a few times in the past so they can say,”Look at the great job we did in representing all genres!” The dude that married the “Twilight” chick was another one pretty much out of the mainstream last year.Then they get slained one by one in the live shows unless they’re real “cute” to the 13 yr olds.

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    • I guess one of the reasons I think he is important to point out is because he fits in a greater context of West Coast entities like Warped and Century Media focusing in more on the roots world. I’m seeing a pattern here. Something is going on.

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      • “Something is going on.”

        Yea, maybe Idol is recognizing that teenie bopper, bubble gum music is on its last leg. Taylor is getting older, Mylie is long gone from Disneyland, and Beiber is well, Beiber…stuck in the to old for 12yr.olds, to young for 25yr. olds.

        So, Idol, being a business, meaning they look for the next wave to make the money, is turning to the next wave. Like it or not, it will take a platform like Idol to help shift landscape. Other artists that have been around will help in that too, but you want appeal to the public so you can see improved artists winning CMA/ACM’s, the end of fake outlaws, the end of pop- country…. Idol is important to cultivating that.

        Trig, I think you may have your head spinning that artists like Taylor and show like Idol are going to shift the landscape, and no 3 savior is going to be leading the charge.

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  • Wolf is my baby brother. It’s amazing how many people are talking about him today.

    I think it’s pretty funny that we can condemn Idol for using everyday people to make money. He’s using them too, you know, so that people will talk.

    Top 24 or not, he’s got your attention.

    Proud of you, Jas!

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    • No Hannah, I would agree. And you know what else I’d tell you, is that a lot of the folks who say he’s “selling out” for appearing on Idol would give anything to have exposure he’s gotten already.

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      • Maybe not “anything”, but for the most part I agree. It’s that whole hipster way of thinking that musicians can only be the real deal if they’re broke.

        Fuck that, I got bills.

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        • ha!

          If you want, you can check my shit out too (see selfish plug below)

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMMpXAmcav0

          We were raised on roots music!

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          • Hannah – I have checked out your ‘shit’ and you are amazingly talented (Zack too – man can he play)!!!! I used to live for the annual CPA picnic when I could count on your Grandma Nell singing (and yodeling) and the school talent show when undoubtedly your aunt Tracy and your mom Nancy would perform as well. Look around you – every aunt, uncle, grandparents, and your parents are all amazingly talented in one way or another, y’all couldn’t help but be. So that said, will we see you auditioning for AI next season? X Factor? AGT? Just sayin’ . . . . proud for all of you babe. And to ‘Saving Country Music’ thanks for noticing this good ole’ boy from a little bitty farm town in northeast Kansas and thinking enough of him to say so.

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          • I think it should also be noted Hannah, that the guitar you are playing…..in the selfish plug…lol….. was also built by your daddy……..Scot Hamlin…….;)

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      • Great article, by the way! Enjoyed reading it. You’re site has made it to my bookmarks!

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        • It’s cool that Jason’s family can come on here and set things straight. For the record, people have solid reasons for not liking American Idol. If Wolf is up there 6 weeks from now, clean shaven and frosty haired, singing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, the talk here and on other sites could get ugly. Hannah, you will have an open forum to defend him but if it gets bad, don’t waste your time with hurt feelings or anything. Screw it. You know him, we don’t, that’s that.

          On the other side of the coin, if he sticks to his guns, Idol or not, there are folks that will have his back. You can look back through past articles on Scotty McCreery and see that Triggerman’s quite fair. Don’t let us catch him lip-syncing though. ;-)

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  • I normally watch little to no AI anymore. When it first started I thought it was a good concept but quickly learnd they only give certain types of singers a real chance. I will watch to see how this guy does in hollywood, but knowing the show he will probobly not make it past hollywood.

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  • I was actually too drunk to change the channel after the game so I saw this. The “git-fiddle” shit certainly raised my WTF? meter but really, his rendition of the songs he did were good….

    Odds are, I won’t ever see him again though.

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  • The only other time I’ve heard the term “git fiddle” was from Albert King on the “Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan In Session” CD. But I’m not exactly from out in the country. Albert also said that Stevie Ray had the makings of a “good fiddler.”

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  • Reminds me of Hillstomp a few years back. They were offered a spot on a show. I think it was Americas Got Talent but I could be wrong. Anyway they turned it down as it’s not really the kind of thing that interested them. I half wanted them to do it for the exposure but half wanted them to turn it down because it just seemed odd. We’ll see how this turns out with this guy. Though I still won’t be watching…

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    • I love Hillstomp and have been able to see them live about 8 times. I know they are doing seperate things now but would drive anywhere within 4 hours to see them again!

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  • I do think this guy has potential, pretty good voice. Don’t think we could complain if they found guys like this to replace the brantly gilbert types.

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  • I’m a mother here and a home town girl from Jasons home town! The whole family can singi grew up with his mom and was great friend and still am with his aunt tracy! These kids are wonderful singers ! I have listened to them just sing their hearts out for us. They don’t sing cause they have to they sing because they love to! I remember when their dad passed away. It was very hard on a lot of us here in town. But I remember that nite we tons of us got together to celebrate his life. Several people friends gathered up right alongside hannah and jason and played their hearts out! It was just so great to be apart of! These kids were meant to sing! I’m judging and I’m not just out for jason who is the best will win but Jason is great. And I do hope he goes far! Cause he has in this towns heart! And ill vote for him is he sounds good But I will say this if there is just that one time that one night where he is having a off night I will vote for who was the best that night! Just like everyone should and I know that Jason would feel the same way! Do luv ya Wolf and katie and I am totally cheering u on! Be safe and godspeed!

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  • I am a friend of Wolf’s and the whole git-fiddle is kinda of a joke. All of you wondering if he is the real deal….yes he is. He’s a good guy who works his a$$ of for everything he has and he just wants people to enjoy his music. Check out one of his original songs….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoMnemCrgPY

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    • Haha, in my old band we probably called it git-fiddle more often than guitar. Not sure why or where it came from. Kinda hazy on that subject.

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  • Heard the Whiskey Rebel from Rancid Vat use the term is reference to slide guitarist Travis Kenny of Hammerlock.

    Check out his book Rejected by Nashville, incidentally.

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  • I have no doubt that Hamlin is talented, but there’s no question that he’s being used to reach the blue-collar demographic, served by bands like Hammerlock and AntISeen

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  • i sort of like him. lets see how it turns out

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  • I love his voice but I still will not watch AI. Of course everyone I work with watches it so I’m sure I will be able to keep up on his progress! Good luck Wolf!

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  • Fair piece, Triggerman. Just want to remind you that you are the ones with the agenda of saving country music. Jason is just a young man with a born and bred love of music who wants to use whatever talents he has to sing and write and perform. Beyond that, his interest in AI was to honor his father and his father’s talent for luthiery. He’s not concerned with whether you find the word guit-fiddle or his pompadour odd, or worthy of carrying some blue-collar roots music mantle. He is exactly who you saw and will still be when he’s telling his grandkids about the time he got to show the world his father’s guitar on national TV. He makes good TV because he’s colorful with a huge spirit and a fun sense of humor. He has the natural charisma of someone totally comfortable in their own skin and he has his loving supportive family to thank for that, along with his love of music. While it may be natural for you to debate shot-callers and posers and corporate profitability and TV producer motives, that really has nothing to do with what is in Wolf’s heart.

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    • Well said Denise…..I ditto that….;)

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    • Denise, I never said I found anything about Wolf “odd”, what I found it was familiar, and that is what stimulated this article. And yes, I do have an agenda, and it is spelled out in the name of this site: “Saving Country Music”.

      And I totally agree, and have gone out of my way to say that folks should separate their opinions of American Idol and Wolf, but at the same time, I am not going to fault anyone of being suspicious of either, or both at this point.

      Look, I know that some could look at this article and see it as a shot at Wolf. I am a very hard critic, but I am also stridently fair. I fully leave open the possibility that everything you and others are saying about Wolf is completely accurate, and furthermore, that he could go to great lengths in Saving Country Music through the spotlight of American Idol. And trust me, if he proves to be the real deal, then you will see nobody fighting for him harder than me.

      Do me a favor, and don’t typecast me as a hater, just as I have gone to great lengths to make sure that I and others don’t typecast Wolf as fake. We don’t know Wolf, and you don’t know me. Everybody deserves a chance.

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      • I think you misread my tone, which is common when trying to communicate on these interwebs. I meant my opening comment, Triggerman. You wrote a fair piece, and you have my thanks. I did not take your article as a shot at all. It just has little do with who Wolf is. My comment was not directed specifically at you, but more to any and all who would want to pin some kind of Messiah/Saving… well, anything …. on Wolf. This is not what he’s about, is my point. This conversation about who he might really be and what he might accomplish to further your goals is not really relevant in my opinion. This piece is more about you all than about Wolf. No hating or typecasting in my intentions whatsoever. I really hope you can save country music, someone sure as hell needs to! :-))

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  • Jason ‘Wolf” Hamlin. Born april 3 1987.
    Grew up in Eudora KS. Till 18.

    I have read the banter, and love every minuet of it. My goal in life is not to please you…… or anyone. I was born country, blue collar and whatever stereotypes you would like to bestow upon me. My Father Scot James Hamlin. Was twice the man I will ever be. How may of you Have traveled thousands and thousands of miles in this country on Harley with guitars you made by hand to sell them to non-famous under appreciate musicians for less than cost. I stand next to get fiddle with my heart. MY FATHER (THE MAN) WAS SHOWN ON NATIONAL TELEVISION FOR EVERY ONE TO SEE. I could not ask for a better way to honor him. Thank you all again for your thoughts. Im not a Messiah or any other term other than a hard working man. TO QUOTE MY SISTER, “I know what I got and I know what im not, and ill tell you im doing just fine”. Thanks again for the interest in my music and helping me get noticed by the “ROOTS” folks out there…………

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    • Good post man.

      Good luck to ya, and God Bless.

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  • So, we’ve come to know that Wolf Hamlin might be the real deal. Good for him, I liked what he did on his audition, but I was not really impressed by his own song. So I don’t think he will turn out to be the Messiah to save country music, especially if he should win this Idol-thing. Every talent-show involves contracts that give the winners nothing to say about the first album that is released. And most of the money goes to the industrie, not to the artist. Sad but true, it’s all about marketing and money, and the real country we love is not really for the big public these days.
    So if I were Wolf I wouldn’t quit my job at the golf-course, and use the Idol-attention to make a decent cd. That would prove if he is the real deal.
    Was it Miranda Lambert who was glad she didn’t win a Nashville-Idol-contest once, so she could release the album she wanted to make, instead of the album the Idol-producers wanted her to make? Here in Holland we had a contest-winner or runner-up, I’m not sure, who refused his contract because he had nothing to say about the album. It meant that he had to wait for one year to do anything using his name, recording or performing. He waited that year, signed with MoTown and is now one of Holland’s great stars.
    Anyway, I don’t follow any talent-show on tv, and I think it’s very unlikely that the Messiah to save country music would come after the commercial break.

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  • What ever happened to this guy?

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