Monday, March 28, 2005

MICF - Jesse Griffin: The Wilson Dixon Hour

Several years ago US comic Rich Hall created a character that would soon become more recognised than Hall himself - the vitriolic, prison-residing, artlessly-dressed Otis Lee Crenshaw, a product of the bible belt of America's deep south. From the same part of the physical and mental landscape comes Wilson Dixon. Dixon is a country musician from Cripple Creek, a simple man who doesn't have pretentions of high intellect and who struggles to comprehend why he hasn't shot to the same stardom as his old foe Billy Ray despite penning the equally noxious "Don't break my lungs". In true country-muso style, Dixon sits upon a stool on stage, strumming away at his guitar, bantering to himself about his life and loves, and occassionally reaching for his harmonica, for the sake of variety. The songs are sharp and clever, capturing the musical style of folksy country music whilst acidly lampooning the hillybilly perspective on the world. The 4 Noels have been a fixture at the Comedy Festival for half a decade, and this is the first solo effort by Jesse, one of their number. He copes exceptionally well in carrying the full burden of the show and doesn't seem at all phased by not having a performer to bounce off. Wilson Dixon is likely to be an enduring character, and will have catchy songs to sing for as long as there are stupid cliches and country hicks to misunderstand them.

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