He's the guy in the Flying Mules with the fiddle crimped under his neck, slouched back in his chair, emotionally distant in the eyes and a bit ferocious with the bow. Then he relaxes his fiddle muscles and leans up to the mike, and this 10,000-year-old, warm-as-butter-on-hot-boiled-corn voice just sort of happens. No hamming from him, no bones about it, almost no consciousness of his power -- just a vocal delivery as mighty as a sequoia, as sad as an orphan train, as simple as rain on a day when it looks like rain. The vocal duty duly completed, he tilts back into his slouch and attacks the fiddle again as if it's a witness that he can make squeal only while it's being strangled. Quietly the murderer taps a cowboy boot. Ferociously he fiddles. And then, when the song next demands it, he sings again, and again the history of country music slips unexpectedly from his reddish beard.