My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Daily Archives: July 1, 2009

Recommendation: “Fox Confessor Brings The Flood”

Neko CaseThis week’s recommendation is a little left-of-center, from Neko Case, an artist who’s become less country and more unique with every album. The song is “Fox Confessor Brings The Flood”, the title track from Neko’s stellar 2006 album. As usual with Neko’s songs, the meaning is not apparent right away.

The story of this song is reportedly taken from Ukranian fables where the cunning fox betrays a wolf by becoming close to him, AKA being the confessor. The wolf believes that the fox can control nature, namely the water. When the fox tells the wolf to wade into the ocean, only for the wolf to wind up drowned, dead and betrayed. Neko takes elements from this story, only replacing the wolf with herself and her lovely voice. Neko also asserts she’s an orphan, giving her character motivation to leave her terrible past to go with the Fox Confessor. All along, Neko’s voice is surrounded by wonderful production, with guitars and haunting sounds aplenty.

I take from this song to be careful who you trust, just because someone says they can control the ocean doesn’t mean they can. It’s a classic plot, betrayal makes up Jesus and Judas as well as Caesar and Brutus, and it’s an unfortunate fact of life.

While this song is not really country, it’s such a fantastic song that’s usually overlooked and has drama and plot worthy of the greatest country songs.

What are your recommendations for this week?  What are your favorite tales of betrayal?

Classic Rewind: Connie Smith – ‘Where Is My Castle’

Spotlight Artist: John Anderson

tn_JohnAndersonJohn Anderson has been one of the most distinctive voices in country music for nearly 30 years, and although his career has seen more ups and downs than some of his contemporaries, it has endured and his latest album, Bigger Hands was released last month. He is one of my personal favorites, and I am pleased to announce that he is our Spotlight Artist for July.

John David Anderson was born in Florida on December 13, 1954. He grew up listening to and playing rock music until he discovered Merle Haggard when he was 15. He moved to Nashville as a teenager, and signed to Warner Brothers in 1977. His career took a few years to get going, and his debut album was released in 1980. In the early 80s, John Anderson was one of a handful of hard country voices in the Urban Cowboy wilderness, and he released a string of great albums and singles.

This period came to a close after the massive success of his single ‘Swingin” in 1983. He started to incorporate more rock and pop influences in his material, and although he had reverted to a straight country style by the end of the decade, he had lost his commercial appeal, despite several major labels’ efforts.

It was time for yet another a new label (BNA) and a comeback, and in 1992 he had another breakthrough with his first #1 hit in nine years, ‘Straight Tequila Night’, followed by ‘Seminole Wind’. He remained a consistent chart presence for the next few years, although his star faded again in the second half of the decade.

He returned to Warner Brothers in 2007 with a John Rich-produced album which failed to give him another career resurgence, and is now recording for an independent label.

Over the years he has produced some great country music, much of it self-written, and we look forward to sharing some of it with you over the next month. He has also ventured into some territory not often covered by country artists, such as environmental issues and the plight of Native Americans. Most of his back catalog has been re-released in recent years, so if we inspire you to investigate John Anderson’s music, you should be able to do so fairly easily.