Parental advisory: Wheeler Walker Jr is possibly the filthiest country singer on record. “But tonight it’ll do,” sings Walker Jr, about a man facing thin odds and even poorer options on the tail end of a potentially lonely night spent drinking and carousing. “’Cause I learned a lesson/ a long time ago/ Beggars can’t be choosers/ when the bar starts to close.”
- Friday, August 4, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
$18 - $20
There’s not an original thought in this man’s head that I can detect, but the manner of music he makes is a hit with the red-state types who never really left their respective high school locker rooms, speaking figuratively. Otherwise, this singer/songwriter’s trash mouth has kept him from having any appreciable shelf life among the major record labels that had such high hopes for him. Even without a single that radio can play on the air, Walker Jr music still shows up near the top of the charts. Think Waylon, Hank Williams Jr, and Kinky Friedman all rolled up into one and you’ve about got it.
That Wheeler Walker Jr has been able to make a career out of being consistently revolting is in and of itself astounding. He’s a bit like an X-rated Mojo Nixon (anyone remember Mojo’s single “Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin”?) back when Mojo and Skid Roper were on top of the hometown music scene. But Mojo knew when to apply the brakes: he was really just a shock jock looking for some air time; Walker Jr has no such boundaries. His act manages to intentionally insult virtually all profiles and stereotypes. But in truth, Wheeler Walker Jr is a kind of brand, an alter-ego. Walker Jr’s real name is Ben Hoffman, and he is a 42-year-old comedian from Kentucky. Now who’s laughing? Rolling Stone magazine’s critics, for one. They once called his vastly offensive lyrics “goddam funny.” “Giggle all you want,” Walker Jr/Hoffman sings. “But my friends and me, we don’t give a lick.”
Whitney Rose also performs.