Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, Jeffrey Fredericks & The Clamtones - Have Moicy! (1976), 7/10

Country music, but genuine and fun! Growing up in the deep south, I was exposed to just about every brand of country music you can think of, but none of it sounded quite like this. "Slurf Song" is one of the most endearing, silly songs that I have ever heard and it doesn’t stop there. Michael Hurley has a pretty entertaining discography as a whole, but Have Moicy! is clearly the most pleasant and consistently fun listening experience along with being the most versatile and broadly themed. The personnel add to the range of the record making each song sound fresh, especially in comparison to Hurley's other solo albums. The songs contain a mixture of silliness and great songwriting, accented with a charmingly unique atmosphere, truly unique in a fashion that helps it differentiate itself from just about any other country or folk music you can name. Hurley’s guitar is centered and surrounded by wonderfully intimate mandolin, fiddle and simple percussion including a washboard alongside drums. Truly a pleasantly twisted and contorted brand of country comedy, yet there is an innocent chantable air among these tunes that help them transcend simple classification. You can hear in a tune like “Sweet Lucy” that this is something beyond just silly nonsense, it has staying power and is a special recording with its own individual character, one of genuine happiness and optimism wedged within the nuances of acoustic ballads and playful ditties. Never seems to get old as a set piece of uplifting and infatuating Americana that could only be spearheaded by Snock. Even when considering his other albums, Have Moicy! is simply more consistently fun and not bogged down by any lazy songs. Perhaps Hurley is his best when collaborating with other artists. Even with downright silly songs like “Country Bump” or “Fooey Fooey”, they align with the atmosphere and propel the narrative in a way that sounds like a bona fide hoedown and ballad respectively rather than a novelty act, even though it may be in fact wacky. Long live cheerful and playful music, and this is some of the best you’ll find.