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Almost every sound heard on this album was recorded live over two days at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens, Georgia. A few overdubs happened at Chase Park Transduction Studio B after the fact, but all efforts were made to keep the sound of the record true to the way we actually sound as a band.

It was mastered and intended to be heard as two sides of a long-playing vinyl album. For now it is available exclusively as a digital download.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our HickStarter campaign to help fund this record, and the few uncredited "Executive Producers" who wished to remain anonymous. Additional special thanks go out to Drew Vandenberg and Chase Park Transduction, Bryant and the Caledonia Lounge, Flicker, Farm 255, Daniel Peiken, Michelle Gilzenrat, Gordon Lamb, Sloan Simpson, Bob Sleppy and Nuci’s Space, and the good folks of the two Athenses: Athens, Georgia and Xalapa, Veracruz. Go Braves. Go Falcons. Go Chileros. Go Dawgs.


released September 20, 2011

All songs recorded, engineered and mixed by Drew Vandenberg for Chase Park Transduction.

Mastered by Kyle Spence.

Album art by Graham Shirley.

The Shit-Hot Country Band is:
Scott Baxendale - guitar
BJ Bracewell - guitar, vocals
Cole Causey - fiddle, vocals
Jeff Griggs - drums
Matt Hudgins - vocals, guitar
TJ Machado - bass
Erskine McDonald - guitar, vocals
Paul McHugh - keys, vocals
Joe McMullen - trombone, percussion, McMullophone
Thayer Sarrano - pedal steel

Claire Campbell - vocals on "Lady in Waiting."

Matt Stoessel - pedal steel on "Hard-Headed Fool," "The Aging Drunkard's Lament," and "Slow Down, Little Train."



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Matt Hudgins & His Shit-Hot Country Band Athens, Georgia

We're a ten-piece (sometimes) country band from Athens, Georgia who had our first practice in January of 2010 at a club where some of us worked. We're better than we were then, as people and as a band. Think 60s & 70s country. Hell, as late as the nineties they hadn't figured out how to fuck up EVERYTHING coming out of Nashville. We like that stuff, and write all our own songs. Go Braves. ... more

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Track Name: Going Home
Going Home
back to Dixie, rolling pines
save some money, pass some time
fried potatoes and fishing line
but you know I'm going home

It's been seven long years since I packed the car,
saw the back of that welcome sign
Never thought I'd look in my rearview mirror and
see something that felt like mine
But that big, cold city taught me some things about going out of your mind
By the time I stopped believing, I thought I'd better leave
and just go on home

Going home
Mama's cooking, church 'till three
factory's closed, obesity
blue law Sundays and those Cherokee
but you know I'm going home

I could have pulled the car over and kissed the ground
of that Mason-Dixon line
but some old state trooper saw me swerving around
and he gave me a hefty fine
then I ran out of gas about half past ten
but the stations had closed at nine
I think that something's trying to tell me
maybe I'm not doing so well with this going home

Going Home
meth addiction, quitting school
pregnant girlfriend, those red state blues
dying cities, nothing to do
But you know I'm going home

The next morning I drove into Tennessee,
saw a great big billboard sign
had a picture of a fellow looked just like me, said
"keep an eye on crime."
Then I called my Mama and she told me, "son,
your Daddy's done lost his mind.
Could you please come take his shotgun?" but
I just dropped the phone,
I ain't going home.

Going home
Daddy's drinking, Mama's mean
rusty shotgun and busted screens
greasy chicken and crooked seams
But you know I'm going home

sitting front porch and shelling peas
kissing cousins, you and me
country music made for pre-teens
but you know I'm going home.
Track Name: Ballad of the Old Timer
Well, I jumped the gun,
I thought this life sure sounded fun
But it's real cold out on the road
where misery gets bought and sold

And I told my Ma I'd call her if I was
tempted to take another whiff of that cocaine
But either way you paint me now
I told a lie and I'm going down to those flames

I'm seeing things that just can't be
I look at one and I see three
I'm sitting down 'cause I can't stand
don't criticize me, I'm my own man

I told my wife I'd call her when I
made it back this way again, but I'll see
and in the morning I'll get gone to
ascertain what's wrong in Colorado
It's probably me

Now every time I pass a bar
I feel the need to stop the car and pull over
and I drive of only fifteen hours
has taken me ten years to get to Boulder
and I ain't arrived
Track Name: The Hitmaker
Well I sneeze and hits come out
Yeah, I'm the greatest songwriter that you never did hear about
Here I come with another one of my hits
and I'd be rich if the whole world ran on handkerchiefs

It's hard to convince folks
that you're not just a slob
when you say that you write songs they'll say "okay,
but what's your job?"
And despite your protestations
they often don't understand
because the people don't know the songwriter
the people just know the band

'Cause it's a great and lengthy process
as you may or may not know
The songs you hear don't just appear
in the speakers of your stereo
and that handsome man that's singing
and having lots of fun
well, there's an ugly unknown genius
behind damn near everyone

And I'm one

Well this job ain't about the glory, fame or the sex
it's all about the slow trickle of royalty checks
So don't get in this game if you're looking for fame
Even my mama sometimes struggles with my name

You can blame old inspiration
for the red that's in my eyes
I seek him in the bottle like a kid
with a cereal prize
And this nighttime life I'm living
has taken years from me
but an early death is my one shot
to gain celebrity

Sure enough.
Track Name: Poor, Poor Hudge (Fuckup II)
I'm a fucking goddamn fucked-up fuckup
I take pills and drink too fucking much
& they'll probably kill me
these things that don't thrill me no more
as I slowly lose touch

With the ladies I sure have a way
when I get close they all just walk a-way
But I hope they'll remember
that night in September, it was a great show
I played and they came

And I damn sure have made the same mistakes
as the man that old Townes called The Rake
but the light of the moon
and a neon saloon fill my nights
well I guess that's my fate

Aw, fuck.
Track Name: Hard-Headed Fool
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be hard-headed fools

The first time she left me I warned her
if you say that it's over
then tomorrow don't come back here saying
that this ain't the end
Now the fourth time she knows that I'm bluffing
'cause my cards are showing
Too stubborn to fall out of love
and let my heart mend

Hard-headed fool, fool you must have your reasons
Your hard head it pulls you through
the ringer again
Hard-headed fool, fool you know your hearts bleeding
but it keeps beating true as it fills up the pool
that you're drowning in

the last time I saw her was Monday
and in church this morning
I stumbled up to that old altar
and confessed my sins
as I cried and I prayed with pastor
I looked to the doorway
to see that hard-headed woman
was passing through my life again

The next time she leaves me
maybe I can stick to my story
that the next time she comes back
I won't even crack my front door
But believing in that of course
takes a whole lot of ignoring
that I know just one sight of her eyes
will leave my strength compromised once more.
Track Name: The Legend of Danny Boy
Oh, once there was a young man
from a wild Wyoming town
His name was Daniel Barfield
better known to folks around
as Danny Boy, a reckless youth
who had a restless heart
They knew one day soon he'd set off
and his rambling would start

They told him "don't look back, Danny
don't look back, Danny Boy, dark futures lie ahead."
They told him "don't look back, Danny
don't look back
For one day soon you'll surely ride with death"

It came to pass one winters day
young Daniel went to ride
when he came back from the cattle
seeing smoke on the horizon
His Ma and Pa both lifeless
left scalped as a false clue
for the white men who had done this
did it trying to frame the Sioux

When leaving from that holocaust
both parents in the ground
young Danny Boy set out to find
the men who'd shot them down
He read the horses' hoof prints
and the markings they had left
which told the tale more clearly
than the villains could have guessed

They told him "don't look back, Danny
don't look back, Danny Boy both parents lying dead."
They told him "don't look back, Danny
don't look back.
For your justice will not wait for you ahead."

That winter passed and spring came
to a California town
when in rode a young cowboy
unknown to folks around
But when he left they knew his name
said that he came from hell
for Daniel left behind him
the dead killer where they fell

And on his rifle barrel
hung the scalps of fifteen men
for where they'd gone
they'd never need a head of hair again
Now where he rides the people
always get out of his way
and the Legend of Danny Boy
spreads farther everyday

They say he don't look back, Danny
don't look back Danny Boy, the burning sands his bed
They say he don't look back, Danny
don't look back
for his vengeance the prairies will run red

Thay say he don't look back, Danny
don't look back Danny Boy, he only looks ahead
He don't look back, Danny
don't look back for behind lie only countless dead.
Track Name: Lady in Waiting
Lady in waiting
so patently fine
with your breath like desire and your fragile designs
how they swallow you

Between adulations
do you think you could spare
just a token of kindness or a brush of your hair
You envelope me
in your being just what you are

If I brought many ribbons
from battles afar
would you share in my glories or recoil at my scars
How I've died for you

Or if I were a poet
and I framed you in verse
could I capture your heart like I've captured in words
how you punish me

Like the night sky if you turn away
all the light fades to nothing
and the moon will fall into the sea
and I will drown following you

Lady in waiting
so patently fine
with your breath like desire and your fragile designs
How they've swallowed you
Track Name: The Aging Drunkard's Lament
I can't hold my liquor any more
I piss my pants and wake up on the floor
The doctor says I've got the gout
because my ankle's giving out
and I can't hold my liquor any more

There was a time I'd sit and drink all day
pick up my guitar and how I could play
but now I've broken all my strings
and I've got no voice left to sing
and my old lady says I'm no good in the hay

But baby, baby please don't go
Sweet baby, baby please don't go
If you leave me just for spite
I might not make it through the night
so baby, baby please don't go

Tomorrow it might be raining
and tomorrow there might be shine
I tell you I don't really give a damn
as long as I've got plenty of wine

I'd like to be drunk every single day
sobriety is only in the way
of the good times and the girls
that I imagine I could twirl
on the dance floor if I had more chardonnay

Tomorrow I'll probably be hurting
and tonight I'll probably snore
If you get mad and tell me you're leaving
I'll tell you that's just what I'm drinking for

It seems that I can't hold my liquor any more
I piss my pants and wake up on the floor
The doctor says I've got the gout
because my ankles swelling out
and it seems that I can't hold my liquor any more.
Track Name: On Hell's Burning Shore
I had me a woman but I don't have her no more
I had my suspicions, suspicions I couldn't ignore

Step inside the mind of a killer
Look into the eyes of a beast
who preys on the life of his lover

I had me a woman but I don't have her no more
She gave him her body so I sent her soul to its reward

Step inside the mind of that lover
Look into the thighs of a cheat
who lay with a man not her husband

and a telephone ring
when answered confirmed my suspicions
and a loose window pane
allowed me to enter unheard
then I took out my gun
and did what had to be done

Oh, I had me a woman but I don't have her no more
In soul and in body the devil's she is forevermore

I had me a woman but I don't have her no more
I killed that bad woman
but I'll meet her on Hell's burning shore.
Track Name: Slow Down, Little Train
Slow down, little train
It's best to let your driver use his brain
Just slow down, little train
the track you're on is splitting
don't you want to get back on the main?

Just the other afternoon I started feeling tight
I drank a little whiskey as I eased into the night
I said "I need to find a place where women congregate and dance"
My dice were rolling hot, I thought I'd take a little chance
Just about then I heard that whistle blowing down the track
I ran down to the rail yard and I jumped up on it's back
and I said

Slow down, little train
Because up ahead the sky sure looks like rain
So slow down, little train
Your engineer is trying to break
but you don't like him pulling on your chain

I could see the dance halls springing up around us as we rode
and the smokestack glowing so red-hot that I thought it might explode
Then we pulled into the station of some dusty little town
I followed where the lights shone and familiar dance hall sounds
I opened up the barn door anticipating fun
but I was the only fellow there, the stampede had begun

and I said slow down, little train
because sooner or later you're gonna run out of steam
so just slow down, little train
your engine's running fine but on down the line you might want to lubricate that thing

Well the first old girl that caught me was a redhead with curls
and I got away but barely wearing not much more than my shorts
Then two sisters and a cousin caught me at the same time
they left me with an aching back and two eyes half-blind
then some crazy dancer wore a hole right through my boots
I tried to get away but she caught me at the trains caboose and I said

Slow down your little red caboose
I'm nervous if you want to know the truth
so slow down your little red caboose
If your pappy sees us on the tracks he's like to put my head into a noose

Slow down