Multi-talented Hoyt Axton was for one a genial singer-songwriter and an entertainer to boot. In many ways Axton, son of Mae Boren Axton, a lady who will forever be best remembered as the co-writer (w/ Tommy Durden) of the Elvis Presley hit “Heartbreak Hotel” was ahead of his time. Ever prodding and probing music’s boundaries Axton brought genuine ‘joy to the world’ (the title of one of his biggest songs) not only through his songwriting but also as the years rolled, some fantastic recordings of his own.
His rich dark, textured tones are of the kind akin that of good coffee or matured whiskey or rum, Hoyt was head and shoulders above the crowd. One of a kind, a vintage blend!
“Childhood’s End”, “On The Natural’ and a song he later recorded with Tanya Tucker “Snowblind Friend” (covered by Steppenwolf, they also recorded and had a hit with his song “The Pusher”) set the tempo. Though not the finished article he wasn’t too far from it! At the time of the record Axton was experimenting with themes and to a degree musical styles, the folk music with which he made his debut and of which he wrote the hit “Greenback Dollar” for The Kingston Trio in 1963 he was already making giant strides.
Axton's imagery springs forth in all its might on the powerful “Beelzebub's Laughter” and the lively “It's Alright Now” plus “Gypsy Will” are others to hold up to repeated playing, and with pickers James Burton, Larry Knechtel, Jimmie Fadden (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and Paul Lewison playing an important hand My Griffin Is Gone is steeped in quality.
All in all My Griffin Is Gone (1969) is nevertheless a most welcome reissue, and starter when it comes to the music of Axton. Now, we need Floating World to pick up on some of his other albums, and there is a bunch of them too! Oh, I must add the fact that Alan Robinson also comes through with some excellent liner notes.
Add a Comment