Neil opened his set like he always does: loudly coughing into the mic and clutching a dozen or so drinks. But opening aside, tonight was different from his normal Sunday-night Spaceland residencies: Neil Hamburger Sings Country Winners just came out and to celebrate he put a full band behind him and decked himself out in a cowboy hat and bollo tie. Also, Rachel Haden sang backing vocals for Neil! Holy shit!
I never figured out if Neil Hamburger starts his shows drunk or if the drinks he sips, spits, drops and violently throws at people send him over the edge. Regardless, the first song (“Jug Town”) kept the alcohol flowing, twanging on about having a wine-o for a dad. Neil’s singing voice was sloppy as (perhaps) expected, and he tried to salvage it all in Hamburgian-fashion by hurling insults at the audience and accusing his backup band of drug use. He also had his band telling awkward jokes (earlier that evening Neil told me they were straight out of an early 20th century joke book) in between songs.
When Neil does country it isn’t country music in the sense of Garth Brooks, David Allan Coe or Hank Williams, but more in the tradition of the memorable moments when celebrities venture into the studio, people like Telly Savalas, William Shatner, etc. But most importantly out of all this was that Neil performed the zipper schtick! I got zippidy zip zip dips on my zippidy zip zip tits!
— Kevin Ferguson