Jay Whitecotton’s Hi, Lonesome is a Dark Look at Ourselves and the Things That Make Us Who We Are

by Dany Recio

Jay Whitecotton Hi Lonesome

There is always truth in comedy but Jay Whitecotton’s Hi, Lonesome the truth is the comedy. Hi, Lonesome starts off with a joke about suicide– as dark as that may seem it is perfect for the world that Whitecotton is about to explore. A comic with guts, especially at a time when you can have the “PC police” knocking at your Twitter handle, there is no topic that Whitecotton will not make light of. Whitecotton takes stabs at divisive issues like homophobia, racism, and social injustice, but rather than frame these topics with clever quips or absurd ideas he opens up these topics honestly from his unfiltered perspective. There were times when I couldn’t actually point out where in the joke it became funny but for anyone listening to the album the parts of his narrative that you understand and relate to will seed your laughter. In some moments, Whitecotton points it out to the audience saying, “…so the rich can stay rich and we can stay fucked, right guys? Not a punchline but you know…” The best part of Jay’s comedy is his honesty.

Throughout the album Whitecotton slowly begins to reveal the roots of what drives his comedy. As the topics become broader Whitecotton will occasionally bring himself into the fold before retreating back into the joke. Towards the end of the album Whitecotton delves into his childhood, which is when the jokes become the most honest and you really begin to see Jay’s ability as a comic shine. Whitecotton can truly find the laughter in anything. Even at his most vulnerable you can’t help but join Whitecotton and laugh at the darkest moments of his life. That is the very crux of this album, finding the light in the darkest of places.

The album was recorded at The Blind Tiger in San Antonio; fitting since San Antonio was where Jay began his comedy career before moving to Austin. Whitecotton’s nearly shouting throughout his set, the almost tyrannical delivery fueled by aggravation that sets the tone for his “no bullshit” approach to discussion. It reminds me of the late George Carlin but primed for a new generation sharing in many of the same grievances. This album as a whole is an amazing piece of work; no one joke outshines the rest. As the album concludes you get to drift away to “Hi, Lonesome” a hauntingly sweet song that serves as a musical catharsis to the entirety of this dark, strange, and beautiful album.

There is a saying that comedy= tragedy + timing, Jay Whitecotton’s Hi, Lonesome is that proof.