Farewell Zombie Emperor is a collection of songs written, arranged, performed and recorded by Hunny Jinks. Release date August 16th 2017

Available on CDBaby, Spotify, itunes or email me for a CD johnnyhinkes@gmail.com


Farewell Zombie Emperor – an album that defies expectation

If an Oxford busker of mature years, having played music on the streets for some decades decided to write an album what would it be like? Full of the woes of the world maybe, pained, drug fuelled, political, bitter perhaps? You might wonder does he have an album in him? The energy charged FZE is composed written and played in its entirety (other than drums courtesy of New Yorker Jim Dooley) by a man who makes his living solely by his music but is regularly asked, ‘were you ever professional?’

Hunny Jinks aka John Connell Hinkes is a well-known figure in the city. He is to be seen almost daily in Cornmarket Street as a kind of steady guiding force, easily recognised by his straw hat and crocodile shoes but above all as a supreme guitar player—his daily audience of some thousands would vouch for that. His playing described by some as like ‘melting chocolate’ is normally reserved for covers—the man plays what people like to hear.

Surprisingly ‘FarewellZombie Emperor’ is a creative juggernaut –full of passion, joy and authentic feeling to a surprising degree.  It feels real and audaciously so. Naturally the guitar playing is excellent but Hinkes’ poetry and voluptuous low notes aren’t at all half bad. The first few rocky numbers hit with the energy of a seasoned performer but refreshingly one who has something to say. Perhaps the hard rock could have been spaced out a little, but it is barely a criticism.

 The general tone is upbeat, like newly discovered love. ‘Clean’ is about the joys and poignancy of being free of whatever vice you might covet, (drugs implied), is a joy—boppy, swinging and foot tapping. But the addict in question isn’t so glib that he doesn’t still yearn for the “smelly green”--“the jelly bean”. Subjects of modern life are exemplified by ‘Take a Photograph’ a selfie gone wrong song and the most politically challenging is ‘Murdered in Our Beds’ an excoriating lament for Grenfell Tower. Yes there is cynicism here and for a topic so grim, even humour. The love songs are rich and sexy and alluring. Is ‘Worship’ the most beautiful love song ever written? Not just passionate but tender and funny and sexy. When a man writes a song that makes you blush in a good way you know he’s on to something. This sounds like one who really knows how to love a woman. Rhymes like ‘I’m gonna take you to kingdom come, I’m gonna make you cry for your mum’  is Mr H Jinks having a real belly laugh. The album ends on another surprise the plaintive ‘Home is the Hunter’, the only non self-penned offering which combines the lyrics of WB Yeats and RL Stevenson.

Every now and then an album comes along that hits you between the eyes and ears. With confidence I would say FZE is such a rare beast, extraordinary, not just full of great compositions and playing, but alive with witty lyrics too.