My Kind of Country

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

Tag Archives: Bud Tower

Single Review: Hank Williams, Jr. – ‘Red, White & Pink Slip Blues’

Artwork for Hank Williams, Jr's new single "Red, White & Pink Slip Blues"

Artwork for Hank Williams, Jr's new single "Red, White & Pink Slip Blues"

Here at My Kind of Country we tend to discuss music that we enjoy, which is why very negative single and album reviews are rare here.  I’ve never been a huge Hank Williams, Jr. fan; he’s made some music that I’ve really liked as well as some I just couldn’t stand.  I’ve never bought any of his albums.   And I think we’ve all become a little jaded over the past several years from the string of often mediocre patriotic songs and songs like “Shutting Detroit Down” that seem to pander to country music’s perceived conservative fan base.   For those reasons, I was apprehensive when J.R. asked me to review the new Bocephus single, “Red, White & Pink Slip Blues.”   I hadn’t heard the song yet and really wasn’t sure what to expect but I didn’t have high hopes that I would really like it very much.

Now that I’ve actually heard the song, I’m pleasantly surprised to find that I quite like it.  It’s easily the strongest single Hank Jr. has released in years.  The heavily blues-influenced production complements his strong vocal performance and helps to convey the feelings of desperation that the protagonist is feeling in the aftermath of losing his factory job.   The pain is apparent when he sings, “I paid my bills, I paid my dues, I paid my share of taxes too.  Now I can’t even buy my baby shoes.”  The song ends with the background singers asking, “Is anybody listenin’?” and Bocephus saying, “Politicians, we’re talkin’ to you.”   But to the credit of  Mark Stephen Jones and Bud Tower, who wrote the song, it avoids self-pity and perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t try to assess blame on another group of people.  The protagonist is venting, and expressing feelings of frustration that too many people are feeling these days.

It’s a pity that song is unlikely to get much attention from country radio, because it’s the perfect antidote to the mindlessly positive fluff that is permeating the airwaves there.

And now, having dutifully completed this review, I’m off to buy some Bocephus music for the very first time.

Grade: A

“Red, White & Pink Slip Blues” is available as a digital download from iTunes and Amazon.