meet Dale Hollow
“Stupid is as stupid does / does that make me the dumbest one of all time?”—Dale Hollow, “Hack of the Year”
A bit Andy Kaufman, a little Orville Peck, a hint of Father John Misty, Dale Hollow possesses “a fascinating combination of performance and purveyed authenticity,” as the lifestyle magazine Mundane once posited, while also noting that “no other country music artist has ever claimed to be the best, except for Dale Hollow.”
Legend has it that Dale actually tried to trademark the phrase “The Country Music Superstar,” so every time someone like Luke Bryan, Loretta Lynn, Jessica Simpson or Darius Rucker attached that phrase to their names, Dale gets some cash. And while Hollow can be purposely self-elevating, that seemingly tall tale is true. “I sent $150 to the copyright office…and I got denied instantly,” he says. “That’s why I use that parenthetical justification (trademark pending).
”A mysterious figure in the country music world, here’s what we do know: Hollow, who hails fromNashville and is named after the Kentucky reservoir, had an inauspicious start to his music career. The future country legend wasjust trying to pay off $35,000 in back taxes. “I was trying to get cash fast,” he admits. “One day, sitting in an internet cafe, I read this article that detailed how Luke Bryan was the most profitable artist in streaming. So I just thought, ‘I’ll do what he does.’”
Thankfully, that odd inspiration has led to some not-so-seriously good music. Dale’s new record,Hack of the Year, is a hoot, full of crooning, shuffling beats, yelps and plenty of self-effacing singalongs. “Don’t Wanna Do Anything” is a legit slacker anthem, while “I’m a Lover” serves as a rollickin’ love song with a hint of Roadhouse menace. Several moments here, including the title track and “Dead End Job,” possess a real sense of melancholy.
There’s also a stream of consciousness at work on the album, most notably with “Cowboys on TV,” a hootenanny take on listicle songs (akin to “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”). “It’s such a dumb idea,” says Hollow, almost proudly. “It started as a story about wanting to be a cowboy, and it ended up with me Google-ing performers who had played cowboys on screen and reading off the list.
Maybe Google gets a co-write on that one. ”While there’s a bit of an arched eyebrow that comes along with some of Hollow’s work, the record itself and the live show are musically savvy. Credit there goes to Hollow’s partners in crime, The Long Con, featuring music vets Chris Winfree, Dalton Smith, Miranda McLaughlin and Nick Morelly.
“My best talent is finding more talented and capable musicians,” says Dale. Which doesn’t mean Hollow isn’t the focal point when it comes to the live setting. “There’s a lot of energy from me on stage—it’s a very kinetic show,” says Hollow. “There are a lot of jumps and kicks and unnecessary and unorthodox things. But it’s not frenetic that you can’t pay attention! Also, I’m 6’5”—throw on a cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, I’m pretty good at making myself look goofy. A tall guy with a hat on stage, that’s amusing.”
Joining Dale Hollow as a special guest Schaefer Llana, a small town kid in Mississippi, who got her first crack at singing in the church, and began composing her first songs at the age of nine or so by her estimate. Perhaps that’s why she sounds so in control and confident on her new batch of singles, led by “It’s Gonna Take Some Time.” Roots rock guitar twang and shimmering organs crest like a wave around Schaefer’s charming Southern lilt, and the honesty in her vocals are disarming: “I can’t wait to see you, you’re all that’s on my mind/ I’ll be home as soon as I can/ But it’s gonna take some time.”
As Schaefer’s boundaries expanded in college and she discovered different iterations of music she took inspiration from, she saw her scene expand, too. Going to college in the Mississippi Delta, Llana was exposed to a supportive and burgeoning scene that supported bands from all over the state in addition to groups and acts that would travel through the area on their way from Memphis to cities like New Orleans.
See Schaefer Llana and Dale Hollow LIVE at Duling Hall on March 8, 2024!
Doors – 7:00pm | Show – 8:00pm
Listen to him on Spotify to get a sneak peek of what you’ll be seeing on March 8th live at Duling Hall!
Listen to Dale Hollow
Dale Hollow – Fools Rush In
Our friends at Saltine Restaurant serve a food menu from doors to showtime and provide a full bar with signature cocktails throughout the entire event.
Duling Hall is an Independent Venue that welcomes all music lovers.