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Bill Kirchen's Honky Tonk Holiday with Beats Walkin'

Upon tallying how many decades he’s worked as a professional guitar slinger, Telecaster master Bill Kirchen quips, “Well, they don't make 50 years like they used to.” They don’t often make careers like his, either. From birthing the Americana genre with the original “hippie country band,” Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, this affable Austinite has been everywhere, man, flying alongside some of the planet’s coolest cats — including the Jesus of Cool, Nick Lowe, and Lowe’s old protégé, Elvis Costello. Somewhere between steering Commander Cody’s “Hot Rod Lincoln” into a top-10 hit and scoring a Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance, Kirchen dubbed his sound “dieselbilly,” wrapping his fondness for country’s truck-driving song subgenre (as in big rigs, not pickups), its intersection with the Bakersfield Sound and his own name into one memorable moniker. Kirchen’s right-place-at-the-right-time career has put him at the forefront of many musical movements, including outlaw country; Commander Cody’s 1974 album, Live from Deep in the Heart of Texas, recorded at Austin’s legendary Armadillo World Headquarters, made Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of All Time list.

Bill Kirchen's Honky Tonk Holiday with Beats Walkin'