by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


Last week, Unknown Hinson took home an award that almost seems tailored for him: the first ever (and probably last) Ameripolitan Award for Best Outlaw (Male). This time last year, however, a set of unfortunate circumstances caused the “Kang, baby” to put away his crown and all his chart-toppin’ hits along with it. Unknown Hinson was retired, no longer for the newly lonely road. His future, like the title of his seminal psychobilly debut claims, was unknown. But you can’t keep a good man down and in spite of that, you can’t keep Unknown Hinson down either. The inveterate outlaw (with the hardware to prove it) Hinson is back on the road, coming to the Blind Tiger this Friday night. The King of Country Western Troubadours (not Marty Stuart) is actually the alter ego of Charlotte guitar teacher Stuart Daniel Baker, but on stage, he plays the philandering, hard-drinking, law breaking scofflaw vamp Unknown Hinson. If there’s a white trash cliché, it’s been exploited hilariously in one of his tunes along with a blazing guitar solo. If it hasn’t, it’s because he’s saved it for his alter-alter ego, “Squidbillies”’ main squid and trucker hat aficionado Early Cuyler, one of the flagship characters on the Cartoon Network’s late-night weirdness. It’s not entirely known if “Squidbillies” will come back for another season, but Hinson, for the time being, isn’t going anywhere.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door, and Kentucky red dirt rockers Fifth On the Floor will open.

Wow, such Hoge. Amaze songs.

For a little more than 10 years, Will Hoge was the archetype of the east Nashville songwriting scene: just on the precipices of the big action going on downtown, but with a style that never quite toed the line. He was dug in as a careerist by the time he made his Atlantic Records debut in 2003, and even major label support didn’t change that. He wouldn’t have a single charting album until 2009’s The Wreckage, which itself would only make a modest showing on a secondary chart. That album would bear fruit though, and a couple of years later the Eli Young Band would cover “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” on the way to earning Hoge a 2013 Grammy nod for Best Country Song and starting a hot streak that’ll still be going strong when he visits Ziggy’s this Friday night. Chevrolet also recently tapped Hoge to create an original jingle for its Silverado trucks to rival Bob Seger’s “Like A Rock.” The result was “Strong,” a song that’s become a hit on its own accord and recently charting on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs list. It’s the last track on his new record, Never Give In, no doubt a mantra from a guy who’s probably glad he didn’t. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, and Old Southern Moonshine Revival will open. !