"Smash Hits Opry"
WKNC, Raleigh, NC
January 28, 1995

Source: Pre-FM DAT > cassette(1...maybe 2) > Denon DTR-80P (DAT, 16/48)
Transfer: DAT > Tascam DA-20 > Audacity > Izotope RX7 (small edits, light noise reduction) > CD Wave Editor (tracking) > TLH > FLAC (level 8)

taped by Ross, transferred by mrpember

01- Why You Been Gone So Long? (Mickey Newbury cover]
02- Handsome Molly [traditional]
03- Nine Pound Hammer [traditional]
04- The Lonely One
05- Train to Birmingham [John Hiatt cover]
06- Wheels [Flying Burrito Brothers cover]
07- Juanita [Flying Burrito Brothers cover]
08- Pretty Boy Floyd [Woody Guthrie cover]
09- Double Shot of My Baby's Love [Swingin' Medallions cover]


Chip Robinson: vocals, acoustic guitar
Steve Howell: vocals, mandolin
Danny Kurtz: bass
Jeff Dennis: drums

Total Time: 31:30


This date marked what I think of as the beginning of the Golden Age of the Raleigh roots-rock scene, when The Backsliders, 6 String Drag, and Whiskeytown all played at The Brewery. The Backsliders had been around for a few years but 6 String Drag had just moved to town from South Carolina and Whiskeytown was brand new. Earlier that day all three bands, plus Pine State from Chapel Hill, played on Ross's "Smash Hits" radio show on WKNC in Raleigh and Ross called this "The Smash Hits Opry." He dubbed some cassettes of the performances and I think they were actually for sale for a brief window on his CRED FACTORY label. This recording is taken from one of those cassettes.

The Backsliders were definitely the elder statesmen of that scene, and were objectively just much better at the time. The first time I saw them was Chip and Steve playing a bluegrass set at a restaurant lounge in Chapel Hill in 1994 and this recording is the closest I have to feel of those shows. If you wanted bluegrass, straight-up country, crunchy "Exile on Mainstreet" rock, or punked out garage rock, The Backsliders were more than happy to provide it.

You may want to cover your kid's ears when Chip starts improvising lyrics on "Double Shot of My Baby's Love."

mrpember, February 2021