All You Got to Do Is Act Naturally

A trip to country's real home: Bakersfield

They're more real and have seen more real life than the hipsters I know will ever get through their pretty little heads. I talked to the Hank Williams-y lead singer, Gary Bennett, for a couple of hours after the show. He grew up in a trailer in Washington. His mom was nervous, so she took off. He loves his mom and tirelessly defends the fact that she booked when he was 15 and his brother was even younger. "She couldn't even eat solid foods," he says. "She was a wreck." Daddy, a drunk, took off, too, so it was just the two boys and their trailer. Until the property taxes came due, that is. Bennett has a new girlfriend; she has two kids, and he's in love. He's always in love with women with children. He's the kind of profound adult child of an alcoholic who tries to give everyone else the warm parenting he didn't have. He's good and kind. And he knows all the words to "Fraulein." So what if the old biddies like him, too?

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