Picks and Pans Review: Hillbilly Homeboy

updated 08/07/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/07/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Tim Wilson (Capitol)

Unlike some redneck-bashing Nashville comedians, Wilson is a pony with more than one trick. In this clever album that mixes music and comedy, he deftly sends up such much-battered southern institutions as fireworks stands, the relentless "See Rock City" hype of Lookout Mountain, stock-car racing, late-night TV commercials for bad song compilations and divorced guys living off credit cards. But Wilson also offers equal-time bashings of rap music (in the title song he rhymes the name of rapper Biggie Smalls with the line "manure on his overalls"—you get the idea) and obnoxious baseball players ("The Ballad of John Rocker"). In "Back When Country Was Ugly," he deplores the triumph of style over substance in modern country music. Like many comedians, Wilson is a frustrated singer, so the musical component of this album is more than competent, with the Band's Levon Helm on drums, mandolin and harmonica. Organ player Clayton Ivey also helps make Hillbilly Homeboy jump.

Bottom Line: Raucous night out—and not just for the good or boys

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