Hailing from Gwinnett County, Georgia, fiddler Earl Johnson got the bug in his ear early on for raucous string band noise. He practiced furiously with his brothers Ester on guitar and Albert on banjo until 1923 when they both succumbed to an epidemic. In 1924 Earl joined Fiddlin' John Carson's Virginia Reelers and Arthur Tanner's Dixie String Band where he fine-tuned his fiddling prowess on stage and street.
After nailing the Georgia state fiddle championship in 1926, Earl cut a mess of sides for the Okeh label with his newly formed Dixie Entertainers. In 1927 he ditched the Entertainers and recorded with his new combo the Clodhoppers but by 1928 he was back with the Entertainers and continued with them until his final record in 1931 (Close Your Bright Eyes). Earl continued to perform right up until May 24,1965 where he wowed the populous at a fiddlers' convention in Stone Mountain, Georgia before promptly dropping dead.
Decades later, the question still remains: who rocked out harder--The Clodhoppers or the Dixie Entertainers?
The Clodhoppers gave us All Night Long which has to be the Louie Louie of miserable marriage songs. The Entertainers' I'm Satisfied gives Night a drunken run for the money with its loopy observations on domestic life that play out like a hillbilly version of The Lockhorns. Both are total liquored-up party songs that celebrate the terribleness of it all.
Both also have background vocals that sound like a goat that's been strapped to a Spook-a-Rama funhouse car and then sent spiraling off into mid-town traffic. I don't know who this little lady is that's responsible for these falsetto-like deeds but Earl had the good sense to bring her in on both of these sessions and for that we will fire up the mp3 player and blast his music on this late summer afternoon.