Legendary guitar player, Unknown Hinson, recently brought his unique style to the Pour House in Charleston, South Carolina where he and the Reverend Horton Heat played to a sold-out house. Unknown is the “Kang of Country and Western Troubadours” but his music is more ass kicking country western/rockabilly with some old time country influence. Unknown Hinson’s road to success in becoming the “Kang of Country and Western Troubadours” has not been an easy.
Struggling is a commonality of many great artists and musicians. One of my favorite stories about struggling on that path to greatness is Unknown Hinson’s story. Unknown’s path made him who he is today: a great musician and a southern gentleman. The guitar has been a part of Unknown’s life since he was a kid when his momma handed him a ‘gitar and told him to learn to pick. Shortly after giving Unknown the guitar Ms. Hinson abandoned her son. Unknown was totally alone in the world. His father was not around. Unknown was born out of wedlock and on the day he was born the doctors asked Ms. Hinson what name she wanted to give her son. She replied that she wanted to name her son after his daddy but she did not know who the daddy was. On the birth certificate in the spot for the father’s name was “Unknown” so this is how Unknown Hinson got his name. The 10-year-old Unknown Hinson stumbled out into the world. He came across a carnival where a carnival worker took interest in Unknown on account of his “unusual characteristics” (Unknown’s prominent eyebrows, under bite vampire fangs, and once phenomenal mutton chops, that he has since scaled back ,make him stand out in a crowd). The carnival worker took Unknown under his wing and Unknown performed in the carnival sideshow. Performing in the sideshow was great for Unknown as he got to play his guitar. In fact he did so well that at the age of 21 Unknown was offered a record contract. The other carnival workers were jealous of Unknown’s success and framed him for a murder. Unknown spent 30 years in jail for a murder he did not commit and eventually exonerated from. A woman that witnessed the murder came forward and signed an affidavit that Unknown was not the murderer. He lost three decades in prison but Unknown says that he is “not bitter about prison; its tax money well spent. Prison serves a purpose.” He got his high school degree, learned useful skills like “how to use cigarettes as currency” and he says he had a lot of solitude to write his songs.
Unknown says that he writes about real life and that “you have to write about what you know.” Writing, singing, and playing about what he knows works well. Unknown Hinson won The Indpendent Music Awards‘”Best Alternative Country Song” for “Torture Town” and The Ameripolitan Award for Best Male Outlaw. But Unknown says that “it’s not about accolades” and “I have to do what I do because it justifies being here- I love playing for people.” He says that “I need to create …my way of leaving something of substance” Unknown also lends his voice and talents to Squidbillies character Early Cuyler. Squidbillies is entering its 10th season this year, which Mr. Hinson says “that’s longer than Leave it to Beaver.”
Unknown Hinson loves “playing and singing his guts out for people”. Check out Unknown playing and singing his guts out across the Carolinas and then he is making his way out to the Midwest. He will not be hard to miss thanks to his unique physical characteristics and awesome guitar playing skills. He is currently on tour with the Reverend Horton Heat.
Learn more about Unknown Hinson here : WEBSITE
Find Unknown Hinson tour dates here: WEBSITE
Learn more about the Squidbillies here: WEBSITE
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