My Kind of Country

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

Single Review: George Strait – ‘Goin’ Goin’ Gone’

goin-goin-gone-cover-artBeyond a few dates in Las Vegas with Kacey Musgraves, George Strait has remained dormant for the better part of the last year. Cold Beer Conversation has continued his downward trend as country radio continues to find little room for many with traditional-leanings. In the past few weeks Strait has returned, sitting down with The Dallas Observer (the interviewer, surprisingly, is no relation to me) for a must-read interview and mining his most recent album to release “Goin’ Goin’ Gone,” a honky-tonk rocker co-written by Wyatt Earp and Keith Gattis.

The lyric finds the protagonist down on his luck, with little savings:

I put in my forty and they take out way too much

 

I ain’t got no 401, ain’t got no benefits

They don’t hand out stock options, not down here in the pits

Despite his grim financial situation he is determined to forget his troubles, even if he only digs himself deeper:

I’m overdue so throw it on the card

Bartender, keep it open, I’m just getting started

Come Monday morning, I just might be overdrawn

But it’s Friday night, so, I’m goin’, goin’ gone

Even without a solid foundation, he does find the silver lining:

Might not be the big dream but I guess I can’t complain

It pays the rent but that’s about all that it pays

 

But I’ve got old glory hanging by my front porch light

Might not be the perfect world but then again, it might

Blue-collar anthems, once a staple of country music, have fallen by the wayside as the Nashville Machine went into overdrive to deemphasize the harsh realities of life in modern country songs. At its core, “Goin’ Goin’ Gone” is a drinking song dosed in realism, with the writers gifting us intent behind his need to keep throwing ‘em back.

While I do find the record infectious, and Strait sounds as high-energy as ever, the execution is lacking the uniqueness that would take this single over the top. Plus the arrangement, while excellent, feels a tad loud in the final mix.

“Goin’ Goin’ Gone” may have appeared on Cold Beer Conversation but MCA has serviced it as the promotional push for Strait Out of The Box: Part 2. Strait’s second boxed set (3 CDs), a Wal-Mart exclusive, will be released on November 18. In that case, “Check Yes or No” this is not. But it is very good.

Grade: B+

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3 responses to “Single Review: George Strait – ‘Goin’ Goin’ Gone’

  1. luckyoldsun October 14, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Maybe one reason that “blue-collar” anthems have “fallen by the wayside” is that our favorite country stars are really rich. We’re not talking rich like a jacket festooned with fake jewels or a Pontiac with the steering wheel covered in silver dollars. We’re talking .001% rich, with private yachts and jets.
    In “Goin’ Gone,” George Strait plays a struggling/poor guy, but he let on to his reality in “She Let Herself Go,” where the character’s “ex” fills her time with cruises to Hawaii and shopping excursions to Vegas and NYC.
    Alan Jackson likes to sing about being satisfied with baloney sandwiches and plywood motorboats. But on his latest album, in the wonderful “Jim and Jack and Hank,” he nonetheless acknowledged that his partner wears fancy clothes, carries a Louis Vuitton bag and drives a “black Mercedes”–no “saint in a dress made of gingham”!
    There are a lot of great blue collar anthems nowadays, but they come from alt-country artists like Chris Knight or Wayne Hancock or Corb Lund or Jason Isbell.

  2. luckyoldsun October 14, 2016 at 3:41 am

    Oh, and I am quite surprised that the Dallas Observer interviewer is no relation to you. I’d have guessed he was your brother.

  3. southtexaspistolero October 14, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    I would really rather George Strait not confine himself to writing what he knows; that whole “write/sing what you know” philosophy is what has gotten mainstream country music into the sorry shape it’s in. I have lost count of the hacks who have defended what they do on that basis. Besides that, Strait has also been married to his high school sweetheart for the last 40-plus years, but he’s turned in some of the genre’s best heartbreak songs during his time as a recording artist.

    This is one of my favorite songs on Cold Beer Conversation. I remember thinking upon first listen of the album that the vocals on it were some of the best Strait had ever committed to record, and this song was a real standout for me in that respect.

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