Hayride To Hell: The Podcast That Wouldn’t Stay There

Circa 2008 (January to be exact) will forever be a year etched-a-sketched into my alcohol-abused noggin as the beginning of an “era” for me. It was the start of my foray into podcasting, with its origins incubating in the VERY low-brow exercise in “media arts” called “Whiskey ‘N’ Waterbeds”. Assuming the moniker “Joey Fuckup”, I staggered and slurred my way through episodes that I had no recollection of recording. Fortunately, I had a co-host (Brian Muncy aka “Whiskey Brian”) that was more at ease playing the straight man to operate the el cheapo but dependable equipment.

Slowly but surely, we gathered a following on My Space by friending some of the craziest, most vile acts that we could find in the rock ‘n’ roll underground. Then we secured local/regional support, mainly due to the fact that we were mobile. This allowed us to venture out to bars, parties, etc., to interview bands, fans, and anyone else we could shove a microphone in front of. And although Brian and I kept a comedic flair to the show (thanks to the booze), we always maintained the focus on the music, first and foremost.

Every living room should have a framed copy of this.

A little over a year later, I began kicking around the idea of hosting a solo podcast that showcased my passion for classic country music, drive-in flicks, and Southern culture. Swiping the title of a Hoodoo Gurus tune (found on their “Gorilla Biscuits: B-Sides & Rarities” album), “Joey Fuckup’s Hayride To Hell” came roaring through the cattle gate side-fucking-ways. Incorporating ’50s and ’60s honky tonk, obscure rockabilly, vintage bluegrass, edgy cowpunk, and audio clips of B-grade action cinema, the show immediately found an audience. Unbeknownst to me, there was a massive underground scene made up of musicians and folks who had a searing hatred for what was being played on those “Hot Shit” contemporary country music stations. Faster than a shotgunned can of Pabst, I found myself (and the show) as a “voice” for the rapidly growing new “Outlaw” movement, right next to such higher-profile internet programs as “Outlaw Radio Chicago” and “It Burns When I Pee”. I kept the show going for roughly a year (12 episodes…I think), then sent it on the highway To Heaven, accompanied by the ghosts of Buck Owens, Hasil Adkins, Gram Parsons, Lux Interior, et al. At that time, I had decided to leave “Whiskey ‘N’ Waterbeds” as well, and began focusing on my next podcast, “40 Oz. Nonsense” which became a part of the line-up at the GaragePunk Hideout.

Although I still had great affection for the “Hayride”, I had zero intentions of ever bringing it back. Since “40 Oz. Nonsense” was building an increasing listenership, I felt it necessary to concentrate on doing only that podcast, scouting out the hordes of contemporary garage punk bands that were legion to the cause. That all changed when Josh Nutting, host of “Outlaw Radio Chicago”, reached out to me six months in to my tenure at the GaragePunk Hideout. In the interim since I had last talked to Josh, he had taken his show to “Black Country Rock”, a website launched by Shooter Jennings that served as a platform for promoting under the radar talent in the country music/Southern rock underground. Shooter was also interested in having podcasts and live programming posted on his site that would serve as conduits for this non-commercial twang. Josh felt that my old show would fit perfectly in the mix, so after one phone conversation, I was recruited.

Now, I could say that being associated with Waylon’s son wasn’t that big of a deal, but that would be absolute horseshit. Honestly, Shooter was/is one of the most gracious figures in music that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. It was extremely flattering that he took the time out to create a webpage for the “Hayride To Hell” and promote the show on social media. At this point in time, the “Hayride” was reaching a much wider audience (naturally because of said connection), and it gained a second home with Texas-based internet station Roothog Radio. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to maintain the pace of producing a weekly program (due to my lack of free time), and after four months (16 episodes), I was forced to park my Hellbound chariot.

Even though the parking brake was applied to the “Hayride To Hell”, I was still continuing my MP3-DJing duties with “40 Oz. Nonsense” for the GaragePunk Hideout. Download stats were immense, thanks in large part to its international exposure, which increased even more when it began airing on Real Punk Radio. However, after a two-year run (29 episodes), I was losing interest and felt that the show was losing its erection. It was evident (to myself) that I was getting burned out, and had started to view podcasting as just a giant pain in the ass. So, I placed myself on hiatus to sort through some personal shit, and popped some mental Viagra to figure out my next project.

While I was taking long, extended naps in a padded cell (I’m kidding), Real Punk Radio was doing a little revamping of their own regarding their schedule. Sundays, most notably, had become more Americana-focused with their programming. A consistent diet of wall-to-wall alt-country, roots rock, classic honky tonk, and rockabilly dominated the playlists of the podcasts and live shows that were being broadcasted on God’s day. Eager to fill any open spots, station owner Tom Meehan inquired about the “Hayride” joining the line-up on what was becoming one of the most active days/nights with listeners tuning in. With the condition that I wasn’t chained to doing a weekly show, I agreed to jumpstart what was becoming known as my flagship. Churning out episodes as (free) time allowed, it proved to be less stressful this time around, and the show seemed have a “new and improved” feel (to me at least). But I felt like I was just hitting the “do over” button, even with the evident tweaking I administered. Failing at finding any excitement for hosting the “Hayride To Hell” (again), the engine sputtered at its seventh episode, and the engine was yanked while I flushed the keys to Shitsville.

Since those few short years ago, numerous people have asked me about bringing the “Hayride” back. Truthfully, I would consider it. I still love all of the music genres that completed the aural recipe on each episode, and I’ve accumulated more recordings tailor-made for that type of program. Included here is the first episode from its third incarnation that aired on Real Punk Radio. It’s this iteration that I feel is the best, and it will be this run that will be posted over on Mixcloud (along with other various podcast episodes I’ve produced). Perhaps if there’s enough interest, I may do another overhaul and take the “Hayride To Hell” for another spin.

Enjoy, buckaroos!

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Joey Camp

Joey Camp is a former podcaster that's worked with the GaragePunk Hideout and Real Punk Radio. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA and you can follow him on Twitter @JoeyCamp70

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