Unknown Hinson is called many things.
Some refer to him as a ghoulish long-lost relative of Hank Williams Senior. Others label him a psychobilly trailer park crooner and viewers of Cartoon Network’s late-night animated epic “Squidbillies” know him as the voice of Early Cyler, the patriarch of a redneck family of octopi in the North Georgia mountains.
Hinson, whose musical talents derive from years of hard drinking and working as a carnival barker, prefers the self-awarded title of “king of country-western troubadours.” Those lucky enough to get a ticket to his standing-room only show at The Grey Eagle on October 28 will be able to attest to that royal lineage when songs such as “I Can’t Believe You’re Pregnant (Again),” “Satan in a Thong” and “Undead Blues” are played to his legion of devotees for the sixth consecutive year.
“People that never heard of Unknown Hinson have come to learn about me through “Squidbillies” and I hear a lot of people watch the show because of Unknown Hinson,” he said in a recent interview between recording tracks for an upcoming album. “I just plug my guitar in, get up there and sang. It’s up to other people to make their own judgments. There ain’t no other words to describe it. It’s just my mess and it is what it is.”
For those not in the know, it is also a pretty funny commentary on the seedier side of Southern comfort that counts Simpsons creator Matt Groening and actor musician Billy Bob Thornton among those praising both Hinson’s songwriting and musicianship.
Having celebrity fans will not, however, keep Hinson from his annual Halloween date in Western North Carolina or playing some songs there live for the first time ever.
“For me, Asheville is a beautiful town and the people there have always been loyal to Unknown Hinson,” he said. “Up in the mountains when the leaves fall, it’s more spooky and Halloweenie lookin’ than any time of the year and I’m happy to be there to fit right in.”