Previously, when writing about outsider music, I've had a go at those people who listen to it to laugh at the funny people with their lack of talent. Who are these mockers, I have asked, who are these cultural voyeurs. Well, know I know the answer. They - if you pardon the clumsy grammar - are me.
As evidence for my own prosecution, I present Iowa's very own Wauhob Family. Info about the Wauhobs is hard to obtain, and part of me wants to believe that they were all an elaborate hoax. Their album Country Style Revival was a home-produced affair, allegedly recorded in 1981 as part of a fundraiser for their local church roof. A courtesy copy was sent out to the writer of one of the songs they covered, and thus their fame began to spread. By '85, the religious satire magazine (I know, I know, the mere existence of a "religious satire magazine" is satirical in itself) The Wittenburg Door had found it, and obtained the Wauhobs' permission to re-press the album.
For me, this is where the story fails. It's just too good to be true. If you always wanted to believe that country-singing Christians were not just stupid, but so stupid as to not know their own lack of talent, then the Wauhob Family are - if you pardon the phrase - a godsend. Famously, the DIY punk scene needed three whole chords. Ted Wauhob was three times the no wave musical purist. One banjo chord. One sung note. A backing band that was unafraid to explore new and undiscovered territories. He Looked Beyond My Fault sees the family tackling a country gospel version of Danny Boy. They tackle it the same way a butcher might tackle a side of beef.
Some musical outsiders are there to be loved and admired. For the rest, the Wauhob's of our world, we can only manage incredulity.