After sidling up to the scene with the Country Strange Vol. 1 EP back in January, Athens area country sensation Uncle Goo reappeared just before Halloween with Cattywampus!!!, another six-song collection of highly offbeat, highly enjoyable roots music released in conjunction with longstanding Lavonia label and artist collective Gypsy Farm.
The record, a standout in both concept and execution, is equal parts outlaw twang, gonzo flair and Northeast Georgia weird, featuring songs like “I Hung Myself” and “When I Die (Bury Me at the Waffle House),” darkly funny tunes that conjure a certain fatalist strain of traditional country music. “I want all my ashes to be scattered, smothered and covered,” Goo croons on the record’s All-Star Special of a closing track, “and Big Jim by the grill can sing ‘Amazing Grace.’”
Goo, the stage creation of songwriter and actor Garrett Chase Carpenter, will play his third-ever show in Athens Friday evening at the Caledonia, where he’ll be backed by his all-star band, The Country Dragons—which includes members of Elf Power and The Humms—and joined on the bill by fellow local dirt-road jammers Georgia Dish Boys and Harry Carey frontman Jim Willingham. With Christmas just around the corner, expect the show to be spiked with plenty of holiday cheer.
To preview the concert and celebrate the season, we invited Carpenter—er, Goo—to send over a list of last-minute holiday gift ideas for those special someones in your life. Check them out below, and get to givin’.
1. A Piece of Your Damn Mind
“Don’t hold back now—let ’em have it!” Goo says. “Start off by saying something like, ‘You’re using up all the good commode time! LET ME IN!’ The rest will follow. Be sure to yell extra loud, or they may miss the point.”
2. An Alligator Head From One of Those Gift Shops in Florida
Feel free to get creative with this one, says Goo, explaining, “I use my gator’s mouth to hold spare change. Hell, I’m almost up to $7! It’s the gift that keeps on giving, Clark.”
3. A Nice, Firm Belly Rub
“This one is not just for dawgs,” Goo insists. “They won’t admit it, but most folks love ’em a good rub on the belly.” It’s a low-cost gift that has the added benefit of boosting the recipient’s self-esteem. “It lets them know they’re doing pretty good, all things considered,” says Goo.
4. Something to Believe In
As we head into 2020, we could all use a little guiding light. “Go on ahead and start that religion you’ve been talking about,” Goo recommends. “It’s tax free, and there’s never been a better time for cults of personality. Strike while the iron’s hot!”
5. The Key to the City of Bowman
This one’s easy. “All you have to do is eat at The Berryman House Restaurant five nights in a row and leave a good tip,” says Goo. “Perfect for the rural bon vivant.”