(Proceed with caution! The title says it all. Jasmine)
Wheeler Walker, Jr. is the outlaw persona comedian Ben Hoffman created once he was left without a job following the cancellation of his Comedy Central program The Ben Show. Part Waylon, part Hank Jr., WWJ is an unabashed throwback, so it’s only fitting that fellow ’70s country devotee Sturgill Simpson was instrumental in getting Redneck Shit off the ground, teaming Hoffman with Dave Cobb, a producer who helps give Redneck Shit the shape of a real record. It’s not dissimilar to the trick Ween and producer Ben Vaughn pulled off 20 years earlier with 12 Golden Country Greats, where the New Hope duo holed up with Nashville cats to create an authentic-sounding salute to the golden age of the Music City, but Ween were always musicians first. Hoffman is a comedian and not a subtle one at that, either. Using David Allan Coe‘s infamous underground party records as a template, Hoffman loads up Redneck Shit with songs about f******, spitting out every filthy permutation that crosses his mind. The surprises come not in the words — sooner or later, WWJ challenges someone to suck his d*** and, as Bryan Ferry once sang, you can guess the rest — but the music, which ranges from back-porch singalongs to ZZ Top boogies but usually consists of straight-down-the-middle amped-up, revved-up outlaw ravers. If Hoffman had followed the lead of his music and bothered to write about anything other than screwing — maybe guns, God, or even Walmart — the record wouldn’t be such a bore, but instead it’s just sneering condescension, an obvious joke from a guy who thinks he’s better than all y’all.