Electric Barnyard

The Kentucky HeadHunters Electric Barnyard (Mercury; CD, tape; 25) With one foot in country and the other in rock, what else could the outrageous HeadHunters call their album besides Electric Barnyard, especially when the two halves are scatalogically labeled ”Steppin’ in It” and ”Walkin’ Through It”? As on their monstrously successful debut record, Pickin’ on Nashville, this follow-up skillfully blends raw wit, the working-class energy of sweat- stained factory workers jamming between shifts, and musical styles as diverse as the corny Tennessee Ernie Ford and the creamy Eric Clapton. Of the % 13 songs, eight are originals, including the grungy backwoods Southern rock of ”Wishin’ Well,” the jailbait beat of ”16 and Single,” and the rootsy boogie of ”It’s Chitlin’ Time.” But it’s the cover tunes that really stick in the mind: that fuzz-toned piece of ’70s pop history, Norman Greenbaum’s ”Spirit in the Sky,” for example, and the coon-skinned wackiness of ”The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” both rebuilt for speed. The HeadHunters don’t sell as many records as the white-hatted cowboys George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Clint Black-but they may just end up redefining country for the ’90s. A -Alanna Nash

Electric Barnyard
  • Music