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On The Killing Floor With Bloodkin

Posted: Dec 21, 2008

On The Killing Floor With Bloodkin

"I stole the kisses
When the bride was young
With a razor blade
beneath my tongue."
          "Paying What I Owe"
           --Daniel Hutchens

Last Tuesday I drove to Athens. In these shifting times perhaps it’s wise to provide a little hard-earned back story. I graduated from The University of Georgia, and still have many friends living in The Classic City. The nature of this trip was to see my old friend Daniel Hutchens of Bloodkin.

As I storyteller, I’ve always tried to keep myself out of the picture. In day-to-day happenstance you can’t take yourself out of the picture. My friendship with Daniel Hutchens and Eric Carter of Bloodkin transcends the traditional journalist-musician relationship. I lived with those guys for years in the old Daville complex off Prince Avenue. The photo above was taken of us was taken on the evening of The 2008 Georgia Music Hall of Fame Inductions this September.

The three of us have experienced creative highs, deaths, divorces, marriages, births, re-hab, lawsuits, day-to-day hilarity and gritty stories as our lives intertwined through the years. Hearing their music—especially my favorites—I always embark on a journey through the past.

We met in 1991. Danny, Eric, and I already developed our own artistic pursuits by that point. We hit it off immediately. Growing up in South Georgia few of my friends read Jack Kerouac, Flannery O'Connor or Malcolm Lowry—but Danny and Eric read them as well as sharing our love for Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. We understood the glories, hard-realities and savage pitfalls of the paths we chose before we met. We also earned a lot of unavoidable lessons in those days. There's always a high-degree of fun when the three of us get together...

Tuesday Danny invited me out to his house. He grilled hamburgers and pineapples with fried potatoes, corn on the cob, asparagus, a salad and a bottle of red wine. The last time I officially interviewed Danny was in 2001. In January 2009, Bloodkin’s latest David Barbe-recorded CD, Baby They Said We Would Rise Again, hits the streets. It’s always interesting to hear the rough mixes of the songs and how they sound on the official CD.
I’ve written liner notes on three Bloodkin albums as well as one Danny solo CD. On Baby They Said We Would Rise Again, The Drive By Truckers’ Patterson Hood wrote the liner notes. The Truckers have recorded their best CDs at Barbe’s Chase Park Studio, but Bloodkin knew Barbe first. The mighty Athens, Georgia, band Widespread Panic covers about a dozen Bloodkin songs in their live repertory.

I introduced Danny to Bruce Burch and we discussed upcoming local functions. On the third of January I’ll attend the Bloodkin gig at the venerable 40 Watt Club. As another chapter of Bloodkin’s saga commences, I’ll chronicle the latest developments as usual. I’ll interview Danny and Eric for the Swampland/Mystery And Manners as well as a review of their latest CD. Danny’s got pro-tools now so I look forward to doing more spoken word recordings like our old Fandango Brothers days when I might get up on stage and read poetry or stories while the band provided the sonic landscape. We made many recordings in the old days. We recorded more stuff at David Barbe’s studio in February 2007.

I look forward to telling the tale of years crawling on the killing floor with Bloodkin. They’ve seen their share of glorious zeniths and wicked horrors in the pursuit of a timeless musical journey. Listen out for the Bloodkin latest in a couple of weeks...


James Calemine


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