My Kind of Country

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

Daily Archives: July 8, 2009

Classic Rewind: Asleep at the Wheel with Reba McEntire – ‘Right or Wrong’

Recommendation: Songs about being lonely

As we all know, most of the best country music is culled from experiences of heartache and loneliness. A lot of my friends thought Taylor Swift’s “White Horse” was too sad of a song — they ain’t seen nothing yet! I love a good sad song.  It’s some cheap therapy for my own bad times, and too many happy songs can get boring anyway.

One of my favorite singers, Patty Loveless, sings about a lot of loneliness. Whether she’s constantly about to cry (“On The Verge Of Tears“), listening to her lover being gone (“Sounds Of Loneliness”) or has lost control of her limbs ( The oft covered “Crazy Arms”), she gets across the feeling of loss like no other.

album-long-stretch-of-lonesomeRecently, in my quest to obtain all of Patty’s albums, I got her 1997 album Long Stretch Of Lonesome. The song that really stood out to me was the title cut, “Long Stretch Of Lonesome”. It has a gorgeous performance from Patty as the instrumentation builds up to a crescendo with strings and guitar aplenty. She knows that someday she’ll break her “Long Stretch Of Lonesome” and she’ll succeed in life; she’s just waiting for that to happen. That’s why I love Patty Loveless’ music because she just does them so well.

What are your favorite songs about being lonely?

Classic Rewind: Emmylou Harris – ‘Together Again’

Single Review: Zac Brown Band – ‘Toes’

zacbrownbandEverybody who is sick and tired of Kenny Chesney’s brand of island-themed hits should definitely take a listen to the Zac Brown Band’s latest single, ‘Toes’.  Come to think of it, it would behoove Chesney to take a few notes on this one, too.  He just might learn a thing or two about how to take an old idea and make it sound fresh again.  Hot off their first two chart-topping singles, this feel-good-at-the-beach tune has been tapped as their third single from the gold-selling The Foundation.

It’s the tale of a country boy who leaves Georgia for a little rest and relaxation in the tropics.  He soon finds himself on the beach drinking tequila and surrounded by sexy senoritas. This guy is obviously just enjoying his Summer, whether it’s in the Bahamas or Georgia.  But like all good things, the Summer comes to an end and the money runs out. By the last verse, our narrator has found his way back home after ‘four days flew by like a drunk Friday night as the summer drew to an end’ and he retires to his lawnchair, trading the sand for the red Georgia clay and the tropical drinks for a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon.  But he’s just as happy in his backyard with his beer, and that gives the song its overall message of having a good time no matter your location or circumstances.

Brown’s warm vocals are surrounded by equally balmy instrumentation to give the track an overall sunny feeling.  Harmonies drive the chorus home and it’s Zac Brown’s vocal that keeps my attention as much as the lyrics.  It’s a combination of superior vocals, fresh lyrics, and general happy-go-lucky attitude that these guys exhibit so naturally that gives them an edge over Chesney and every other artist who’s tried their hand at reggae-country.  Zac Brown and the boys seem to mesh several styles into their kind of country effortlessly.

The Zac Brown Band has the ultimate hit of Summer 2009 on their hands here.  Though some of the lines might ruffle the feathers of conservative country radio — particularly the line ‘Gonna lay in the hot sun and roll a big fat one/And grab my guitar and play’.  The word ‘ass’ being uttered no less than five times may also hold it back a little, but judging from the roll these guys seem to be on, I doubt even those hurdles will slow them down much.

Grade: A-

Listen to Zac Brown Band – ‘Toes’.