The Hollins & Hollins Mortuary Crew will be returning to Europe in June!

The Boys are digging through their domestic messes, searching for passports, usable guitar strings, playable banjos (the joke is on Possum: there’s no such thing as a “playable banjo”), and bottles of trumpet valve oil(well, Jimmy SAYS it’s for his trumpet). The time is drawing nigh and The Boys will be crossing The Pond for another European excursion. They will be leaving San Francisco on the 19th of June, arriving in The Netherlands in time for The Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival on the 21st of June. Their travels will take them from The Netherlands, to Belgium, to Sweden, and Finland. There are many exciting shows including The Picking Bones Festival in Linter, BE, a festival which includes Carrie Nation and The Speakeasy amongst many other greats. The Boys will return to another one of their favorite venues, The Podium t’Beest in Goes, NL Check out the “tour” page for all of the dates. And check back here for more updates!

Mark Beshirs
New album, RASOIR ACOUSTIQUE, set for release this Halloween, 2019!

Is this Phase II of Lester T. Raww’s Graveside Quartet Sings Your Children To Sleep?

The Boys have finished basic tracking on the debut Hollins & Hollins Mortuary Entertainment Show album. Building on the themes from Lester T. Raww’s Graveside Quartet Sings Your Children To Sleep, The Boys are taking the vintage radio show format to the next level. As the album begins with the sounds of a radio dial turning (tuning in signals that came from outer space, perhaps?), the listener is brought into the world of mortuary entertainment. Lester conceived of this record as a bridge between The Pine Box Boys and the Graveside Quartet, maintaining the creepy, gothic aspects of both bands while blending their sounds into something that points in a new direction. As Feast of Three Arms suggested, there are more electric guitars at work. As with The Graveside Quartet and Lester’s solo record, the ukulele and accordion still grab the spotlight from time to time and there are more horns to vary the texture of the new songs.

Some of the material will be entirely new to audiences, but many of the songs have been making their way into the set for over a year. Lester wrote the title track, “Rasoir Acoustique,” nearly three years ago in The Netherlands on a borrowed ukulele. “A Werewolf Song,” wherein Lester explains how he comes from a long line of werewolves, is a current regular in the live show. Lester’s fascination with voodoo is given voice in “Saturday March to Doom,” and in his personal favorite from these sessions, “An Ode To Baron Samedi.” Gentleman Jimmy has contributed a song as well: the crowd favorite “Walk Through Walls.” And then there is Lester’s elegy to the late, great T.C. Edwards, “Arkansas Angel.”

At the console for this project is Jack Gibson (yes, ‘tis he, the bass player of Exodus). Recently, he has recorded the likes of Stumptail Dolly, Husky Burnette, and The Goddamned Gallows. Upon completion, Rasoir Acoustique will be made available on LP(with digital download) or digital download. Check back for updates.

Mark Beshirs
Being the “New Guy”: Life as the Newest Member of H&HME
 
Lester with the “new guy,” Gentleman Jimmy Hadley.

Lester with the “new guy,” Gentleman Jimmy Hadley.

 

Firse of all, let us clarify a few things: yes, it is true that drummer Slade Anderson joined the outfit after singer, trumpeteer Jimmy “Gentleman” Hadley. And, yes, Hadley is about to embark on his fifth tour with the band. Nevertheless, the band continues to insist that Jimmy is still “The New Guy.” So how does this work?

Lester explains, “It’s a matter of points. If you were an accountant and you got hired by a new firm, you would expect them to acknowledge your years of experience when negotiating a salary. In the same way, frontmen - or in the case of Gentleman Jimmy, Second Bananas - are a lot easier to find than a good drummer.”

To be fair, Jimmy comes with plenty of experience, fronting Col. Jimmy and The Blackfish, recording two albums with that band. But, as Lester argues, “that just gives him ‘jackass’ credibility. I’ve got that. Axl Rose has that. No one really credits frontmen for doing anything special.”

Drummers, however, are a curious lot and are due a certain amount of circumspection as well. “No one will argue that Slade doesn’t have skeletons in his closet. But, jeez, he has to carry the most gear…and our stupid asses,” Lester points out.

Lester goes on to tout the skill that Slade possesses and the expertises he brings to the organization. “H&HME fines its members for wrong notes. With ‘The Theme to The Emancipated Head’ back in the set, Possum and I are usually out $10 or $12 a night. Jimmy, on the other hand, owes the band roughly $320. The rest of us have to borrow money from Slade just to buy coffee.”

When asked to respond, Gentleman Jimmy raised a fist to the sky and said, “I keep telling them that Slade is a drummer! He doesn’t actually play notes!”

With a sigh, Jimmy added, “At least I finally learned the band handshake.”

Mark Beshirs