If you read Sunday’s post, in which I promised to start sharing videos of my hollerin’ progress, and you’ve been checking back daily for updates, I must apologize. Upon further consideration, posting hollerin’ practice footage was a foolish amateur-baked idea. The last thing I need on the day of the contest is another hollerer belting out the exact same routine as me. Surely, plenty of other first-time hollerers who start blogs chronicling their progress make this mistake on a regular basis. I refuse to fall victim to this rookie blunder.

I’m better than that.

I can tell you, however, that I am completely dedicated to learning this art.  And it is indeed an education. Each track on Hollerin’, the contest’s unofficial audio Bible, takes me on a journey into the past, right to a time when hollerin’ was a way of life.

I wish I could say it was easy listening. It’s not. Simply listening to the album is a challenge.

It features nearly a dozen former hollerin’ champions (and a three-legged dog), and each track sounds as if it was recorded in the hollerer’s garage using an audio cassette recorder optimized only for hollerin’. That wouldn’t be so bad, except that each hollerer starts by telling a story. To actually hear them speak, I have to crank up the volume to its maximum level. And then, out of nowhere, comes the hollerin’, with the same intensity as a foghorn magnified through a megaphone powered by an amplifier 2 inches from my ear. Often, by the time I manage to decrease the volume, the hollerer is back to storytellin’, causing me to crank up the volume again. And then the process repeats.

I just hope I make it out of this with my hearing.