Could Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs Surpass Two Country Music Goats?

Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen… bam… click bait. These two are on absolute tears right now. Wallen is having a remarkable comeback from his controversy in the beginning of the year, with “Sand on My Boots” climbing the charts as his first single back. Luke Combs is sitting on his 12th number one hit with “Cold as You.” We could very easily be watching two all-time greats at the beginning stages of their careers, and it’s a lot of fun. There have been artists before that started hot and phased out, artists like Hunter Hayes had his first six singles all do well before disappearing. I think we are watching these two challenge some of the greatest commercial country artists, Luke Combs could realistically beat out George Strait for the most number ones of all time, and Wallen could challenge Garth Brooks for the best-selling artist of all time. How possible is it and how hot are these guys right now? Funny you ask, read on to find out.

Luke Combs just got it all overnight right? Amazing music, extremely hot wife, money, fame? It just popped up one day… right? Don’t tell Luke Combs that. He struggled early to get any traction or attention on music row. He was told that the songs he brought to the city were terrible, and he should just give it up. Those songs by the way included “Hurricane” and “When it Rains it Pours.” However, after grinding for a while, Combs finally did get the chance he deserved, and after “Hurricane” slowly climbed the charts to #1, the rest of the music took off. In fact, Luke Combs has never not had a song top the charts, he is a perfect 11 for 11 to this point, and “Cold as You” will probably ring the bell in a few weeks. You might say, “who cares, there are lots of artists with radio success who no one cares about,” and you would be correct, but out of his singles, the WORST selling one still is certified gold. I don’t think I need to really sell Luke Combs; I think he’s doing ok, but the streak he is on is fucking crazy, and it just started.

            Ya know what, I will continue to sell Luke Combs, and I’m going to do it by comparing him to, who else, Justin Moore. Justin Moore has had 19 songs released as singles, of those, 10 have topped the charts. In reality, that’s a widely successful career, that’s more than Eric Church, Lee Brice, and Chris Young. Moore released his first single in 2008, Luke Combs released his first single in 2016. That’s how fast Luke Combs has been piling up number ones, he is dwarfing Justin Moore’s numbers and Justin had an eight-year lead on the guy. This is why I think that Luke Combs should be compared to the likes of George Strait, or Alan Jackson.

            First off, I am by no means saying that Luke Combs is George Strait. I am however saying that I do believe that Combs could challenge him for the title of most number one hits by the end of his career. Luke Combs is 31 years old, which gives him about 19 more years of relevance. Let’s say that he has two number one songs per year, that would be 38, plus at the 11 he already has would be 49. George Strait has 44 number ones, and although Luke probably won’t be able to keep up the pace he is on, it’s not impossible. The other part of this is likeability, an artist can do well on the radio but not actually have many fans. Who doesn’t like Luke Combs? He has found the perfect formula of love songs for the girls, 90s country for the traditionalists, and rock songs for the hardcore guys. Anytime Combs comes around me, nosebleed tickets are selling for well over $100.

             So what about the either guy at the top of the country music world? Morgan Wallen is still too new to have the crazy stats Luke Combs has overall, but what his two albums have done in a short time are crazy. Morgan Wallen was another guy who didn’t exactly pop off right away. He was on “The Voice” but failed because he didn’t sing One Direction as well as he sings country. He went to Nashville after that and released “The Way I Talk” which died early on the charts. In 2018 he released the album “If I Know Me” and it didn’t really make much noise. His second single, “Up Down” with Florida Georgia Line topped the charts but didn’t really do much at the time for Wallen. The next single, “Whiskey Glasses” really is the song that changed his career. After that, the mullet came out and the rest is history. Wallen is 4 for 6 with singles going number one, and that’s only because “7 Summers” got dropped off the radio because of the bullshit N-word thing.

            Wallen essentially took 2021 off from the public eye, yet his album “Dangerous” will probably be the best-selling album of 2021, setting a shit ton of chart records in the process. I really don’t think this is going to be a phase either, Wallen has done something similar to Combs in the fact that he has captured a wide audience. He has the look, which is literally setting a trend across America with the mullet and cutoff flannel. The women love him, songs like “7 Summers” went from being a demo he teased on Instagram to a platinum selling smash hit. Men love his as well, songs like “Country A$$ Shit” are meant to fire up his redneck following. I think that Morgan Wallen has a legitimate chance to be the next Garth Brooks.

            The thing about Garth Brooks is that no one really thinks about him as a true country artist or a radio successful guy. He is known as a cowboy who stayed true to himself musically yet competed with the biggest pop stars in the 90s. He also is known for his crazy energy during performances and often is considered the best performer of all time. He is second to only “The Beatles” in all time album sales. I’m not exactly sure how streaming numbers will translate to album sales, because in reality no one buys albums anymore, but I would expect Wallen to be making his way towards the top of the charts regardless.

If you look back the past ten years, there were artists like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Carrie Underwood dominating the genre, but these two just feel bigger. Luke Combs is just on fire, and although he is far away, he could eventually end up at the very least challenging Strait for the most number ones of all time. Wallen has had a roller coaster of a career so far, yet his controversies (that no one actually gives a shit about) have really only vaulted his success to the next level. I can’t wait to look back in 2030 at this next decade, because I want to see how much more success these guys had over the third most successful artist of the decade (Thomas Rhett maybe?) It will be interesting to continue to track these guys, because I think we are watching two all-time greats battle it out to be the biggest name in country music.


Trucks Gone Wild Is Fucking Awesome

“Trucks Gone Wild” is absolutely as great as you would expect. Do you like lifted trucks? Do you care how much they cost? (If you say yes, please stop reading) Do you like tits? Then go to this fucking event. If you live in the south, Maine, or Saskatchewan, Canada, you might have at least heard of Trucks Gone Wild. Drivers of Trucks Gone Wild include Dennis, Ryan, Weston Anderson (yes Grave Digger Anderson), and Scott Sweat of the No Sweat Mega Truck. Randy Oakley of “Vermonster” (who got me into mud bogging) and Keith Spiker with the “Hammerhead” mega truck. The man behind the madness is Matt Steele.

           Steele started with just basic truck events but then started recording them and promoting new events. He has since been to multiple countries and all over America to put on events. The biggest hot spot for the culture, though, is Florida and Georgia. Steele has grown the sport so much that they have a show, “Dirty Mudder Truckers,” on Discovery. Although the show doesn’t capture the magic of attending a mud bog, it gives you a chance to meet some of the fastest trucks and biggest names in the sport.

           How would I describe TGW? Well, everything is consuming alcohol, from the trucks to the people. It’s the one place where someone can roll up with a $100,000 truck pulling a $100,000 camper with a $100,000 mega truck and be parked next to two pile of crap rust bucket trucks that a junkyard would turn away and two $20 Walmart tents as the sleeping area, but the two groups will be best friends by the end of the night. You wake up and start drinking, go over and watch the mega trucks, and then come back and drink more. In fact, most people don’t even stop at that point. Dogs and kids are welcome, although it isn’t exactly family-friendly to the average suburban living family. Any without a sense of humor shouldn’t go; anyone who is judgmental, don’t go. You are really being thrown into a world that takes a special type of person to enjoy, but there really is no better fun if you do enjoy it.

In Maine, the campground is just a massive farm field with port-o-potties setup. No running water, no showers. To cool ourselves down, we drove down the road to a massive river and went swimming. The Androscoggin River was deep enough to swim in without touching but calm enough where you weren’t worried about being pulled away, and it was a common spot for the locals to go. For lunch, we made sandwiches, nothing fancy. If you wanted to drop a few bucks, vendors sold lobster rolls and other stuff like that. At night there was a concert featuring the up-and-coming rap ground North Woods Outlaws.

           Got a quad or side by side? Your allowed to rip them around the campground all night. There’re no quiet hours, but no one cares. If you want to literally not sleep the entire weekend… don’t. It’s fucking wild, and I would highly encourage anyone to go visit. I’ll attach the website below and the recap video from the event I went to. If you like having a good time, I VERY VERY highly suggest checking out the boys from Trucks Gone Wild. Tell Matt Steel you heard about it from me first.


Amazon Will Stream the 2022 ACM Awards, And We Fixed Everything Wrong Them

For those who don’t know, CBS isn’t going to pick up the ACM awards for next year. The reason behind the decisions is poor ratings, combined with an astronomical price tag being charged for television rights. Instead, the ACM Awards have found a new home Amazon Prime. This is a major change for not just country award shows but all award shows. With this being the first streamed show, it will be an experiment of if this truly is the future or not. Personally, I don’t think it necessarily is, but that’s why I’m not a tv executive making these decisions. 

Since the ACM awards are undergoing such significant changes, I have a few suggestions to make them worth watching again. While I am guilty of giving the ACM awards shit, it was the first country music award show I ever watched, so I do hold it near and dear to my heart. To be completely honest, it was worth watching not all that long ago. Back in the Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley days, it was funny and lighthearted. Since then, though, Reba, Keith Urban, and Mickey Guyton took an entertaining show and drove it towards more of a PC woke vibe. I have always felt the CMA awards were the more “professional,” almost Grammy-type award show. The ACM Awards were the ones that Larry the Cable Guy would show up at. So out of the kindness of my heart, I will now fix the ACM awards for absolutely no cost to the ACM board.

           To fix a mistake, you must admit you have a problem. The awards have reached a point of knowing they have a problem. How do you solve an issue? Well, I think it’s best to go through a 12-step program, not only to address the problem but fix it for the long term. Without further a due, here is how to fix the ACM awards for the future. 

We admitted we were powerless to woke culture and gave in—that our lives had become unmanageable.

I’m not going to shit on Mickey Guyton as a host, I don’t think she did a bad job, but in reality, she isn’t a superstar in country music. She doesn’t have a big name like Carrie Underwood or Reba to drive in viewers. Having her have a moment in the show would be cool, and having diversity is essential, but let’s be real here. If I were to ask 100 people if they knew who she was, maybe 10% of people would. It isn’t like her name is pulling viewership in.

On the other hand, is Morgan Wallen, who, as we all know, got canceled to begin 2021. He did a stupid thing, but let’s be honest, people will tune in to watch him. He did his time, and he took this year off, essentially taking him out of Entertainer of the Year and Male Artist of the Year. If he doesn’t win album of the year, though, it is an absolute joke. However, he is back on the radio, and it’s time to move on from his past mistakes and give a guy who is just twenty-eight years old a chance to have a career. ACM Awards, stop fooling yourself, and please give the man what he deserves. Plus, creating a friendly rivalry between Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs wouldn’t hurt anything…

Come to believe that the power of true country music is greater than ourselves and could restore us to sanity.

Ah yes, we need to remind ourselves what our genre is and where it came from. Theproblem is that while blending pop and country music, artists have found ways of getting a wider audience and more money. This reflects in how the award shows go through, and in reality, the ACMs have become a little bit twangier than the Grammy’s, but that’s the only difference. 

One of the highlights of the 2021 award show was Alan Jackson performing. Jackson isn’t the only hall of fame country artist that released new music this year, though. Why not let Travis Tritt rock out for a few minutes? What about letting Tracey Lawrence have a moment on stage? Clay Walker released a song with Ryan Upchurch last year and then announced an album of his own. The show has become way too pop, and it’s time to turn things back in the right direction.

Miranda Lambert performed three times in the award show; why not just have her perform once and give another country legend a chance? I understand that the show is going to need a balance, and I’m not saying to give Dan and Shay the middle finger and not allow them on, but the show has gone way too far, pop, and it’s time to reign it back in. 

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of true country music as we understood it.

Country music has always been about blue-collar Americans that are out on the front lines of society working their asses off for the general public. It wasn’t created for Los Angeles or New York citizens, but the guy who is working to feed them. Yet, the ACM awards are decided by white-collar people who don’t understand this. Why not give some of the power back to the people who are meant to consume country music, on who the best artists really are. 

Change the way that voting is done for the awards. As I understand it, the ACM and CMA voting is the exact same. Why not be unique? Shall I remind everyone of the Thomas Rhett/Carrie Underwood tie? It’s time to stop doing it the way it’s been done and start a new trend. I propose this, a split between media votes, fan votes, artist votes, and other industry votes. Maybe have fan voting by 25% of the vote, media be 25% of the vote, fellow artists be 25% of the vote, and “the academy” by 25% of the vote. This way, everyone has skin in the game; as a viewer of the show, I would find it much more interesting to root for the person I voted for. Maybe it takes a little bit away from being an “industry award,” but lack of change just lost the ACMs a tv contract. Hell, why not allow betting on the show? I’m not entirely sure it’s legal, and it might lead to a massive insider trading issue, but it’s at least worth looking into. 

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

When it comes to “inventory,” I thought this was best interpreted as artists who are being awarded. Let’s get back to having award nominees and winners that make sense. I think it should be an honor to be nominated for an award. Yet so many nominations are made that it takes away the appeal. To achieve this, fewer awards should be given out, and the number of nominees should go from 5 to 4. 

First, get rid of duo and group of the year awards, turn them into a singular award. Brooks and Dunn are fantastic, but they didn’t do anything to justify an award in 2020. They haven’t released new music in a few years, in fact. Little Big Town is in the same camp; they haven’t been relevant since like 2015. Make it so that the finalists are Dan + Shay vs. Old Dominion, and all of a sudden, people might care more about the award a little more. 

Get rid of all the “New ____ of the Year” awards and make it just one. Also, make the award actually be for new people. I love Cody Johnson, but he is like 8 albums deep at this point; he isn’t new. I would make the criteria so that an artist has to have a single go top 20 before the second studio album is released. The New Artist of the Year isn’t, in my opinion, supposed to project who will have the best career, but award the person who got off to a hot start.

Eliminate single of the year. If an artist wants a song to be a song of the year, they need to release it. Have one singular song be the song of the year and have that be that. Rename “Music Event of the Year” into “Collaboration of the Year.” Why? Why not.

Admitted to true country music, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

I don’t think every year in and year out should be a George Strait dick-suck award, but we isolate more and more country stars who had helped make the genre great every year. Recently artists like Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley have struggled to get radio airplay; why not try to get one of them a spot to play some music. It doesn’t have to be a new song, but Brad Paisley featuring a big ole slide guitar on “I’m Gunna Miss Her” or Tim McGraw talking about a barbeque stain on his shirt would be an excellent highlight of the show.

If no one like that exists in a particular year, why not have Garth Brooks, George Strait, or another legend perform while we still have them? Willie Nelson, anyone? If we don’t let them play now, the next time we hear from them might be via a cover from a living artist to honor them.

Were entirely ready to have true country music remove all these defects of character.

Listen, ACM people, you guys have a great foundation and aren’t all that far off from being a great award show. You just lost track somewhere along the way and completely blended into the CMA awards. You’re not bad people; you just made some mistakes. We are halfway through our twelve-step program, and then you will be ready to rock the ratings again. If you have made it this far, you are ready to move onto the next step.

Humbly ask true country music to remove our shortcomings.

Reflect and reach out to people. What year were the ACM awards most successful, and what were the highlights of that? Also, what do living legend artists think can be done to turn the ship around? The resources are there; you just have to reach out and find them. Go to them, call Hank Jr. and say, “Mr. Williams, please let us do right by you.” Bam, now you have a living fucking legend on your show.

Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Luke Combs is the biggest name in country music, hands down right now. Morgan Wallen is coming for that title, but right now, Luke Combs is the guy. However, the ACM voters disagreed, and Luke Combs was shut out in awards this year. I’m not exactly sure how that is possible, but Luke Combs’s name is bigger than Luke Bryan’s, and he was much more relevant, in my opinion, last year. For some reason, the ACM’s feels the need to make people “earn it” so Luke Combs will win an Entertainer of the Year in like 2024, but it’s just fucking stupid.

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

This can be simply done. Luke Combs is the 2022 Entertainer of the Year, and Morgan Wallen wins the 2022 Album of the Year. Then in 2023, let the battle between Combs and Wallen battle it out for the new king of country music. 

Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

I’m not one to defend Dan and Shay when it comes to the country music scene, but they got a reputation hit because of an audio fuckup. If you can’t handle the multivenue setup, don’t do it. In reality, it didn’t make much of a difference to me sitting in my living room between watching someone perform at the Ryman or the Opry. Now next year, I think the show will be back in Las Vegas, so hopefully, the entire show is done in one location. This should mean that this mistake won’t happen again. I don’t know if Dan and Shay meant to lip-sync or actually sing, but it didn’t look good for them.

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with true country music, as we understood it, praying only for knowledge of its will for us and the power to carry that out.

In order to understand true country music, you have to listen to it. This isn’t entirely an ACM problem; they are just working with the tools they are given in some respects. Country radio absolutely sucks, and the ACM is just meant to reflect what has happened in the last year. However, there are diamonds in the rough, and the ACM awards need to find these diamonds. Anyone ever hear of a guy named Justin Moore? How about Jon Pardi? Jason Aldean, maybe? The majority of what’s on the radio sucks. The ACMs need to find what doesn’t.

What about having other artists on the show? Canada, Texas, and Independent artists are insanely talented and underrepresented. What about letting Aaron Watson or Cody Johnson from Texas, both men with huge followings in a small region. How about Jade Eagleson or Dallas Smith from Canada? If you want to have a diverse range of country music have a change to represent there types of country. Why not let a rapper on? Ryan Upchurch would pull in a massive audience, as would Adam Calhoun and Jelly Roll. If diversity is what you want, this would bring in a crowd the ACM awards have never even seen before.

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to sellouts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

Ok, ACM awards here is where you decide what to do. Do you see the error of your ways? Do you see the markets and demographics you forget about trying to make one or two groups of people happy? I understand spreading the love and getting different people watching the show, but don’t forget where you came from. Make changes, make things better, and take advantage of the opportunity that Amazon is giving you. 


Chase Rice Goes on “Bussin’ with the Boys” and Tells All

Chase Rice, I fucking love you. If you’re reading this, your fucking country, I know you know that, but you’re an absolute badass. Why am I saying this? Well, on the most recent episode of “Bussin’ with the Boys,” Chase Rice proved that he really doesn’t give a shit what you think. On the podcast, he discussed everything from getting shit from fellow artists about playing a show way too early to being compared to Johnny Cash to admitting to releasing shitty songs in the past. I highly suggest listening to this episode, I’ve always liked Chase Rice, but I fucking love him now.

           Chase Rice has had one of the most interesting lives of any artist in the industry right now. First off, he worked on a pit crew in NASCAR. That’s pretty sick, as you have to be extremely athletic and precise to be a good pit crew guy. Then he got bored of that, so he took on Survivor in 2010. He got runner-up on the show, and as a big survivor guy myself, it’s pretty hard to do better, as only a handful of people have won the show. However, after that, he decided to solely focus on music, and it wasn’t long before that started popping off for him.

           I’m not about to go through Chase’s entire discography, but I will say this. His first album “Dirt Road Communion: is fucking solid. The songs “Dirt Road Communion,” “You Ain’t Livin’ Yet,” and “Only a Country Girl” speaks to people who have had a rowdy Friday night in the middle of bum fuck nowhere.  “Livin’” especially has a cool meaning, as Rice explains how his town is much more different than the eye sees and how you need to become country to see the world in a country way.

           The album “Ignite the Night” is more pop-country than anything, but that being said, it has some bangers, including “Ready Set Roll” and “Do it Like This.” It also features “Ride,” which is an excellent song if you want to get a lady in the mood (and I know this works from experience.) Rice released a few singles that didn’t hit on radio following that album, but “Everybody We Know Does” is a fucking jam. “Lambs & Lions” produced some solid music, including “Lions” and “On Tonight.” His latest album was split into three parts, “The Album,” parts 1-3. I haven’t been as big of a fan of the songs on this album until the single “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen.” Was released. I love this song, and I think that this song might be the next #1 hit in Rice’s career. I also think that Chase Rice might have a few jams on the final installment of “The Album.”

           The real reason that I think Rice is a badass is because of his farm. His farm, called “Twin Eagles Creek Farm,” is just another in a long line of farms owned by country artists, including “Ozara Farms” and Luke Bryan’s farm. However, this one might be the baddest of the lot, as it has bison. That’s right, BISON!!! Can you name another country artists who own bison? I can’t. That’s fucking badass; I don’t care what you say; Chase Rice is country. He could release a cover of a Drake song tomorrow, and I would say this man is country. I don’t know where or when so I can’t completely give credit or even confirm this story, but I heard that he used to work on the farm, and then when he got a little bit of money, bought half of the farm, and then when he got more money bought the other half. That hits the feels for me, as I worked on a farm, and I wish more than anything when it went up for sale, I could’ve bought it. Sadly that wasn’t the case, and it was sold to someone else. Despite knowing the property better than probably anyone in the world, I am not allowed on it anymore.

           The other thing that makes Chase such a badass is how he handled his critics of his concert last year. If you don’t know, Rice performed an “extremely reckless” concert last year in June where apparently thousands of people packed into a tiny venue to watch Rice perform, not giving a fuck about CDC guidelines. Rice never apologized or acknowledged this; however, that changed on the “Boys” podcast. He said that the concert followed all CDC guidelines at the time, and under 1,000 people were at the concert, which had a capacity of at least a few thousand. Artists such as Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris took to social media to talk shit about Rice for the concert. However, Rice had a simple response, basically saying they have his number, and if they have an issue with it, they should hit him up directly instead of going to social media.

           It’s true; going to social media is bullshit and a weak move. It’s safe; when you have a million followers, you can expect eighty percent of them to be on your side. It creates a void in country music that just isn’t necessary; if you have a problem with something, address it, person, to person. Maybe if Kelsea and Maren had just hit him up, he would’ve talked to his team and decided that concerts weren’t a good idea. It would’ve said face and drama for all involved. One quote really stuck with me, though, when he said that he would still be open to talking to them despite how they handled the situation, he didn’t hate them, and they make badass music.  I thought that was absolutely standup. Barstool basically gave him a platform bigger than Ballerini and Morris, and he took the high road.

           Are you not convinced? Chase Rice is the real deal. He isn’t Sam Hunt, or Breland, or Dan and Shay. He wants to be Eric Church, Johnny Cash like over those artists. He wants to make music that is timeless over music that is good today but shitty tomorrow. I respect the hell out of that. I think we need to give Rice more respect, and for anyone who listens to “Bussin’ with the Boys,” they would agree. Also its worth noting that Rice was able to pay his band throughout the pandemic. Chase Rice, if you’re reading this, please let me come visit your bison farm.


Justin Moore Releases “Straight Outta the Country” and We Reviewed (and loved) It

           First off, let me just say that I’m so fucking hyped for this album. My new best friend and (not to flex) but Justin Moore’s tour manager, JR, keeps saying that if this isn’t my new favorite Justin Moore album, then I need to message him. JR, we both know that I’m stupid enough to do anything with a few beers in me. With that being said, I will be typing this article live as I hear the songs for the first time. Going into the album, the smash hit “We Didn’t Have Much” and “She Ain’t Mine No More” have already been released, along with an acoustic version of “We Didn’t Have Much.” That leaves just five songs to be released at midnight on April 23rd. “Consecutive Days Alive” was performed on the Livestream from April 17th, so I have heard it, but not the studio version, just the live version. The song that excites me the most is the cover track “Straight Outta the Country,” written by Hardy.

A Hardy-written Justin Moore song might be the dream song for me, but I suppose we will find out at midnight. No pressure, but if this song disappoints me, I might plunge into a depression that I will never recover from. My favorite artist and my favorite songwriter teaming up and failing might just be the biggest lie I’ve felt in my life. The remaining songs include “Hearing Things,” “More Than Me,” and “You Keep Getting Me Drunk.” Without further a due, here is my official review of “Straight Outta The Country.”

Hearing Things

           Based on titles alone, I wasn’t very excited for this song. I’m not sure why I doubt Justin sometimes, but I always do, and he always makes me look like a fool. “Hearing Things” reminds me a lot of “Country Again” by Thomas Rhett because it’s about how Moore moves to a city and fucking hates it but is doing it for the money.

“‘Cause I’m losing mine, I think I’m going crazy, hearing things in my head life.

 Truck tires rolling on a gravel road, AM static on the radio

 Pine trees swinging and singing when the wind blows, I swear I’m hearing things like

 Muddy water rippling on the riverbank, the lonesome whistle of a midnight train

 It sounds crazy, I know, but I’m hearing things, and they’re calling me home”

           It’s the idea that although the city has more money, it isn’t worth giving up the lifestyle that country folk know and love. This is a roll the windows down and feel-good song. If you are driving past a farm, let the smell of cow shit fill the cab of your pickup. It is a song that says summer, and it’s a great kickoff to a great album.

Consecutive Days Alive

           As I had mentioned, I had already heard this song on the Livestream Justin Moore did a few weeks ago. Like “She Ain’t Mine No More,” this song is a song that I didn’t really love until I heard it in the collection of songs. But damn, I love it. This song, to me, sounds like it might be the radio follow-up to “We Didn’t Have Much” if this short album gets another single. The song is essentially a song saying that Moore has lived a life, taken many risks, done stuff he might not be proud of. Still, he is just happy to break his record for consecutive days alive at the end of the day—two songs in and two fantastic new songs.

We Didn’t Have Much

           This is the current radio single, sitting in the low twenties on the radio chart when I wrote this. It’s a very nostalgic song, talking about how simple life was when he didn’t have much. It then talks about how he realized that he loved the simplicity that he didn’t think he loved when he went off to try to get more money and improve his life. It’s a song about enjoying what you have despite your financial standing because the grass isn’t always greener.

She Ain’t Mine No More.

           An excellent old Justin Moore heartbreak song. What would a Justin Moore album be without a heartbreak song? As mentioned just a few songs ago, I wasn’t a massive fan of this song as a teaser, but now that I have the entire collection, it is growing on me. Moore sees his ex at a bar and very clearly isn’t over her, as seeing her triggers all these feelings of not having her anymore. However, it’s also clear that the girl is over him because she is partying it up and having a great time: a classic breakup song and another great one.

More Than Me

           This song is good; however, I admit that since I’m not a dad, I don’t feel like I’m the best person to review this song. I enjoy that it’s acoustic, and I think it’s a fucking great song to sing about kids. I do want to point out one little thing, is Justin Moore throwing some shade at his Razorbacks with the line, “Hope you get to see the hometown team win a little more than me?” We might be the first to call out the beef between the Arkansas Razorbacks and Justin Moore. Are you going to take that Sam Pitman? On a serious note, though, another great song, just one I don’t feel I can genuinely appreciate at this stage in my life.

Straight Outta the Country

           I have great news; I don’t have to do anything dramatic. I was so fucking nervous when I heard Justin Moore and Hardy had a song together. Obviously, it’s no secret Justin Moore is my favorite artist, and Hardy being my favorite writer/one of my favorite artists, it’s a combo I have wanted for a long time. “Straight Outta the Country” fucking slaps. It’s a bonfire song, it’s a song you jam to with the windows down, it’s a song you should always just listen to. To say it’s the best quality song on the album might not be fair, but it’s the best song that you want to crack a cold one to on a Friday night. Thank you, Hardy and Justin Moore, for putting out a song that I can listen to constantly on repeat forever. If anyone has an issue with it, they can go back to the city.

You Keep Getting Me Drunk

           For some reason, when I first heard this song, I didn’t think of this as a breakup song; I thought of it of it like an “I Can’t Love You Back” by Easton Corbin where the girl died. I don’t think this is the song’s meaning, but I got the feeling that the girl left more suddenly than a breakup. Then Moore just wanted to wake up and drink his feelings away because he didn’t get closure and never will. Again, this is probably not at all what Moore meant by this song. Still, the interpretation of it for me almost gives it another layer. A sadder song to finish off the album; it still is a great one.

           So that’s the “Straight Outta the Country” recap. It has seven great, really quality songs, plus an acoustic song. I wish Justin would put out another album with fifteen songs at once, but at the same time with “Late Nights and Longnecks,” and now this one, I’m wondering if these short and sweet albums improve the quality of the music. I mean, Luke Combs last album had twenty-three songs on it, and I have thirteen of them downloaded. Not to say the other ten are bad songs, but they just aren’t as good, in my opinion.

Justin Moore seems like he has found a formula that works. He has a few breakup songs, a few drinking songs, a few country anthems, and bam, that’s an album. Justin doesn’t need a bunch of shitty radio generic love songs; he doesn’t necessarily have something for everyone. I think Justin accepted that he isn’t going to catch George Strait for the most #1 songs of all time, so his attitude is fuck it, I’ll do what I want and be happy with my discography. For his fanbase, that is precisely what we want. Don’t lie to us, don’t give us shit, give us music that’ll make country artists from the 90’s proud.


“Outlaw in Me” by Brantley Gilbert is one of the most underrated songs… ever

           I heard a song on shuffle that is probably one of the most underrated songs I know of. Yes, I understand that every artist has a few underrated songs. This song is probably the most underrated song by the second most underrated artist in the game. I think I would have to give Justin Moore and his eight number one hits the most underrated, but Brantley Gilbert with his six are right behind Moore. I think both are similar in terms of crowd, Brantley Gilbert is southern rock, and Justin Moore is southern rock meets traditional country. His current single is “Hard Days,” which seems like it might be sliding off the chart, which is bullshit because it’s a hit. That song will have its own article soon, but since it still could regain some momentum and continue its charge up the charts, I’ll hold off. However, a song that won’t be a radio single at this point, and it probably wouldn’t be a hit because the radio sucks, is “Outlaw in Me.”

           If you don’t know this song, go fucking listen to it right now. The song just starts with a simple guitar riff, nothing fancy, nothing overpowering. Basically, picture a shirtless guy and a girl lying on the couch together. The girl asks the guy about his scars, and he basically says I don’t want to talk about it. The song’s premise is that the girl understands everything wrong with the guy, all his outlaw ways, but that’s what she loves about him. She is a girl that understands what she has and is ok with it. However, she is also a badass, and she wants to hang with the guy. She understands that the guy is who he is, but he will unconditionally love her despite his flaws.

           The message is very Brantley Gilbert. It isn’t anything overpowering, but it just fucking hits. The type of guy reading this has that rebel heart, and he doesn’t give a shit about norms. He has made a few mistakes, some he might regret, some he might not, but fuck, he isn’t sorry for any of them. I know personally, my girlfriend knows that I’m not the flowers and cuddling type guy, but the fact that I stay with her and am loyal to her every day is my way of saying I love you. Is it right? Maybe not, but it’s just who I am as a person. This song makes me feel something, which is something that Brantley is very good at, making songs that make outlaws feel.

           This article is pretty short, and I apologize for that. I think that everyone should just go listen to the song instead of listening to me ramble. Brantley Gilbert is fucking amazing, and although he might not get the respect he deserves, he puts on a hell of a live show. He can mix songs like “Outlaw in Me” with songs like “Bottoms Up” or “Hell on Wheels,” and it’s fucking amazing. Go give my boy BG some love; this won’t be the last time you hear about him on this site because he is one of the best out there.


What Happens When a Comedian Goes Country? It Actually Might Work…

           Jessica Michelle Singleton wasn’t supposed to be a country artist. She was supposed to just be a comedian and a good one at that. She has performed worldwide, including venues such as “The Rose Bowl” in California. However, the thing about country music is it’s about having a story to tell, and Singleton had just that. Someone like me couldn’t just sit down and write a quality country song, but what also helps Singleton is her standup career. When you are a standup comedian, you have to write your own jokes and your own entire set, which can last over an hour. Singleton knows how to write as a result of that, and that shows through in her lyrics.

Her debut song “Now I Need Whiskey” wasn’t supposed to be anything more than a fun little project, but something unique happened to her, the song took off. Singleton is an independent artist, which means there isn’t a billion-dollar label spending countless dollars pushing her music. It also means that her goal isn’t to write a radio hit because, without a label, it’s almost unrealistic to do. As a result, she can create the music that she wants, and “Now I Need Whiskey” is just that. It isn’t following the number one formula that mainstream radio follows; it has its own sound and feels.

Now I have to admit, when I learned that she was a comedian, my “protect country music at all costs” walls went up. I wasn’t sure if I could trust her or if she was just going to make some joke that she got a bunch of idiot bloggers to write about her song. However, I was able to ask her about this over Instagram, and her responses changed my concerns. I asked her if this was just a fun one-off project or if this was a path she actually wanted to take. Her response was, “It was intended as a fun one-off, but since the response has been so exciting, I’m going to make an EP and just see what kind of fun I can have with it!” This was a refreshing answer for a few reasons. First off, she has seen a little bit of success, and instead of making country music the butt of a joke, she is continuing to run with it. The second part of this was the fact that she is having fun with it. One of the traps that I feel country music is falling into is taking itself too seriously. The epitome of this is the “that ain’t country” crowd, where Luke Bryan shakes his ass once, and people claim the genre is coming to its knees. This song finds a super cool niche, where it is a funny song mixed with an authentic old-school country sound.

           The next thing during our conversation that made me feel a lot better about Jessica Michelle Singleton’s rise is her interest in country. Born and raised in Mississippi, she was raised in the heart of country music territory. Then she moved up to Alaska, and as much as the southeast wants to claim country music is theirs, I’m sure rural Alaska has just as much interest in it. She has been around the genre, she knows the genre, and she respects it. She isn’t just doing it for the meme of it. She also threw in a little nugget of information, saying, “the Waffle House thing in the song is based on a true story, if that’s worth including.” For those who don’t know, the Waffle House thing is, “I heard Friends in Low Places when daddy left me at a Waffle House in Jackson, Mississippi. He was my Rhinestone Cowboy, and he rode his Ram away…” I don’t think it gets much more personal than that.

           There are plenty of other lyrics that show off her country cred, including all of the classic country name drops. She isn’t the first to do it, Thomas Rhett has “What’s Your Country Song” near the top of the charts right now, but something different is being accomplished in “Whiskey.” She isn’t just listing songs; she threads them into the story and uses them to almost add depth to the song. It doesn’t feel gimmicky; it works well. Singleton gives off a different vibe in this song than most artists today. She is going for a more serious Wheeler Walker Jr. or a Gretchen Wilson-type character. The line “turn to the yard, below a prison guard, just to get a smoke break” is a prime example of this. Most women in country today sing songs about how they love some guy and sing about how great some boy in their life is. Singleton doesn’t ever mention a love interest, which is refreshing.

           Singleton isn’t a country artist, she’s a comedian. But the thing is, she does country better than a lot of artists do right now. She gets it, and she doesn’t have to pretend she is something she’s not. She released a song that balances a heartbreak blue-collar story with comedy, but it works. I get it; I understand why it was popular when it was released. “Whiskey” might be a little bit aggressive for country radio, which is unfortunate but just reality. Still, I would like to see Singleton have something on her EP a little more radio-friendly. Without a label, I don’t think she will be heard nationally, but I would like to see her give it a try. Maybe she can be the woman who sings a song that isn’t either about how great her boyfriend is or how much she hates her ex. Maybe she can tell us a new story, she already has once. Go listen to “Now I Need Whiskey” wherever you listen to music, and then do yourself a favor and do it again. Maybe it won’t be your new favorite song, maybe it will, but it will give you the chance to listen to something new that sounds like it could be old as well.


Justin Moore has a New Album Coming, Plus Knows Our Website Exists!

Justin Moore and his cohost JR the Handler just dropped the biggest “Justin Moore Podcast” yet for personal reasons. At exactly 30 minutes, JR gives us a little shout-out and talks about an article I wrote ranking all of Justin Moore’s albums, which can be found here. The entire podcast will be posted below, and it’s worth a listen.

I also want to personally thank JR for being so supportive of our little website. We have had many little conversations on social media, and it has really been a driving force and motivation for me to keep going and expanding. None of the stuff we are trying to do here is easy. You don’t get a following overnight unless you have deep pockets, which we don’t, but when someone like JR talks about what you are doing, it makes you realize you are on the right track. As of the time I am writing this article, I have about 450 social media followers, which is less than the number of people who live in most country artists’ small towns, but just having that one person saying your name to thousands of country music fans is wild.

After this colossal thing happened, the duo went a step further and announced “Straight Outta the Country,” a new album. The album will be dropping on April 23rd and will feature eight tracks, including the single “We Didn’t Have Much.” At first, eight tracks don’t seem overwhelming, and honestly, I was a little disappointed that the album would be so short. However, Justin then dropped a little nugget that these eight songs might not be the only songs we will be getting this year. If we get, say, sixteen Justin Moore songs throughout 2021, that would be great. From the outside looking in, it seems like the covid pandemic didn’t affect when the new album dropped because he wasn’t due for one last year. However, I can’t help but feel a little bit frustrated because many other artists delayed albums till this year, which will saturate the market a little bit. Still, I am super pumped for the new music, and if it’s half as good as the last album, we are in for a treat.

Double albums seem to the trend right now, and the fact that Justin Moore is hopping on the trend solidifies that. Although Moore doesn’t really call it a double album or confirm it is a double album, it seems likely that this will be the case. Obviously, Morgan Wallen has shown that a double album can work. He released thirty songs back in January. Going into April, it is still the top-selling album on the planet. We have already seen Thomas Rhett announce “Country Again (Side A),” and last year, Granger Smith dropped “Country Things” in two parts. Chris Young has a double album coming as well. Now Justin Moore might be doing it next. I like this trend; when we get an album from a favorite artist, there comes a sadness level, knowing this might be it for a few years. However, in an era where we stream music instead of buying physical copies, why not release fewer songs every few months? The only thing that really screws this up is radio because it takes almost a year for a lot of songs to go number one, but besides that, I think this would be awesome.

So that was my morning. When you listen to a podcast, and you hear your own website’s name gets mentioned without warning, it’s a little bit of a pleasant surprise. Thank you, Justin Moore and JR, for the support, and hopefully, we can keep growing this thing to the level I believe it can reach! Also, remember, “Straight Outta the Country” is coming on April 23rd!