Tin Huey

  • Tin Huey
  • Tin Huey EP7 (Clone) 1977 
  • Contents Dislodged During Shipment (Warner Bros.) 1979 
  • disinformation (Future Fossil / POS) 1999 
  • Before Obscurity: The Bushflow Tapes (Smog Veil) 2010 
  • Ralph Carney
  • Ralph Sounds (Birdman) 1997 
  • I Like You (A Lot) (Akron Cracker / Birdman) 1999 

This sextet of eccentrics from Akron, Ohio were more eclectic and musicianly than their local colleagues. The Hueys’ stunning should-have-been-a-hit version of the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” (included on the album) was inspired by Robert Wyatt’s re-arrangement, and the band owes a nod to Frank Zappa as well. Yet their blend of blues, jazz and progressive rock is hilariously unique, offering up a warped vision of Middle America. For Tin Huey, “weekends in my Lay-zee Boy” (from “Hump Day”) might be punctuated by the discovery of a car filled with doll heads (“Puppet Wipes”); a surreal “Chinese Circus” comes to town; they even admit to fantasies of technological megalomania (“I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts” — later the title of a mini-LP by the Waitresses).

After Tin Huey’s artistically fruitful (but commercially hopeless) one-album career ended, various members went on to pursue other projects, the most notable of which are guitarist Chris Butler’s creation, the Waitresses, and multi-horn wizard Ralph Carney’s Swollen Monkeys.

[Jim Green]

See also: Swollen Monkeys, Waitresses