Hamfisted: Clumsy, inept or heavy-handed.

No-one knows for sure exactly what the Hamfist is or where it came from. Some say it was born the day EZ got out of the pen and picked up a guitar. Maybe Cletus brought it down off the mountain in the back of his pick up truck. Giuseppi only came over from the old country a few years ago and his English ain’t so good, but he brought his bass with him. The Kid has hamfistedness in his blood; he dropped out of the 4th grade to play honky tonk piano in a house of ill repute. And y’all remember Jonny B’s Top 20 hit “Where Have All the Flower Girls Gone?” clearly a precursor to the Ham. Every once in a while when the hunting’s bad and the squirrel meat runs low, ma and pa come to town for supplies, and they’ve been known to stop in and pick a few tunes. As for Banjo Larry, his name is BANJO bless his heart; he can’t help himself. The origins are shrouded in mystery but somewhere along the way the Ham was Fisted and a sound was born.



Here’s a little known fun fact: every member of Hamfist is a current or former employee of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (except for Banjo Larry, bless his heart.) Not actors, of course; nary a one of ‘em would ever be mistaken for a Professional. They toil in obscurity and only release the Ham on occasion. If you hear an unearthly sound coming from a local bar, something akin to a bobcat in a clothes dryer, that’s Hamfist.



Of course, ever last one of ‘em is going straight to hell. They play that devil music, Satan’s song, an unholy union of country, punk, bluegrass and rock with a little stand-up comedy thrown in for good measure. No song is safe. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll dance ’till you drop



So, if you encounter a couple of slack jaw, snaggle-toothed yokels roaming the streets singing songs about the southland, don’t be alarmed. It’s only Hamfist.





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