By William Lamb
Unlike Young Jeezy or even Young M.C., Young Hines is the Georgia-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter's real name. A harried nurse scribbled “Young Mr. Hines” on a patient info sheet after Hines, the youngest of seven children, was born. The name stuck.
The other thing folks tend to notice immediately about him is his voice, which bears more than a passing resemblance to John Lennon's. The Lennon comparisons make sense considering that Hines' unorthodox route to a promising solo career included a gig performing as The Witty One in one of the nation's top Beatles tribute bands.
And yet it takes only a few spins of Give Me My Change — Hines' first proper album following a pair of self-released collections of home recordings — for that distraction to fade as his own personality comes into sharper relief.
The record is almost dizzyingly eclectic, boomeranging from the White Stripesish blues of the title track and “Can't Explode” to the effortlessly catchy folk-rock of “Rainy Day” and the breezy shuffle of “Just Say No (Sometimes).” Hines also displays a sense of humor and whimsy about his unusual first name, using the moniker as fodder for the bluesy vamp of “Young Again” and the jaunty, semi-autobiographical “Forever Young,” which bookend the record.
Hines' big break — the one that prompted him to leave the tribute world behind and strike out on his own — came when Brendan Benson of Raconteurs fame came home one day to find his housepainters spinning one of Hines' demo collections.
Impressed, Benson produced “Give Me My Change” at an all-analog studio in Nashville and released it on his new Readymade imprint. The pair have embarked on a tour that is taking them up the West and East Coasts and then on to Europe, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Hines and Benson come to the Troubadour on Saturday with the Howling Brothers