I Thought We Had An Outlaw

Can we get our outlaw back? Luke Combs came out of the gate hot in 2017 with This One’s For You. To this day, that album might be my favorite of all time. The album highlighted by “When it Rains it Pours” and “Honky Tonk Highway” is iconic, and a game changing album. Then in 2019 we got What You See is What You Get another masterclass from Combs. Although I don’t think it was quite as good as its predecessor, it gave us “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and “1, 2 Many.” Then… Growin’ Up happened. Yikes. Luke Combs made it painfully obvious that he was no longer appealing to an audience that included me in it. “Doin’ This” sounded country don’t get me wrong, but it was kind of boring. There isn’t a drinking song on it, there isn’t a party song on it. Its kind of boring, pop, love songs or songs about time.

Naturally when Luke Combs announced he was going to change up his style a little bit on Gettin’ Old. I was excited. Did Luke realize after the poor performing first half of the album that people wanted more than poppy love songs? Well… kinda. “Hannah Ford Road” and “Back 40 Back” sound more rebelous country than a lot of his newer stuff but its missing something. Neither of those songs have any bite or edge to them, it feels like manufactured music that they are trying to sell to us. I’m not buying. “Fast Car” is a cover of an old Tracy Chapman song that went viral. Luke is sending it to pop radio. I just don’t understand, Luke rose up to be the biggest name in the genre and turned his back on everything that made him him.

Remember when Luke released “Can I Get an Outlaw” way back in the day? He sang about how country music sucks and Nashville needs a rough around the edges artist to come in and change the game. Then HE WAS THAT GUY and it worked. Then as soon as he hit the top he decided to sing the “pretty songs” that he trashed earlier. I don’t blame him for going after the big money. I’m sure selling out has tens of millions of dollars more attached to it than not selling out, but the overnight transition bothers me. I want to be a Luke Combs fan, hell I even spend $150 to stand in his pit this summer. Don’t forget about us Luke, the day 1s who propped you up when Nashville told you your music sucked.

This isn’t an article meant to bash Luke Combs. Authenticity right now is at an all-time high and an all-time low. On one hand you Hardy, basically saying I’m going to write and perform country because I’m the best at it, but I really want to do rock. You have Chase Rice saying fuck it to his pop sound, and then recording an album in his living room. Than you have the other side of it. Luke Combs, Jason Aldean, and Kelsea Ballerini all putting out shitty music because they know it makes them money, then trying to tell us country people that we are stupid for not liking it.

That’s my TED talk of the day. I’m tired of being bullied by big name artists that think there shit doesn’t stink. Just because you live in Nashville and own a Rizzini firearm doesn’t make you know what country is. Can you listen to it working a farm? Can you drink a beer to it? Can you cry to it when your girl leaves you, or when your granddaddy dies? Can you hang out around the bonfire and jam to it? That’s country. Don’t give me some pop infused LA inspired trap beat song and get mad at me when I hate it. Don’t give me 25 inorganic poppy love songs in a row and get mad at me when I hate it. Anyway, I’m going to listen to some George Strait now.


Top 10 Country Artists I’d Like to Party With

10. Justin Moore

            Justin isn’t on this list because I see him as a modern day rockstar. I wouldn’t expect to see cocaine at a Justin Moore party. But he’s been my favorite singer since I got into country, and I can’t see not having him on the list. I’d be happy to just have a backyard BBQ with Justin, a few beers and a bonfire. A good ole country hangout would be enough of a party for me.

9. Lainey Wilson

            Lainey just seems like an awesome hang. I’m sure she would be fun at a party, but I want to attend a crawfish fry with her and listen to her tell the story of her rocket ship of a life. I’d want to talk about Yellowstone, working with Hardy, and where she sees her own music going. That would be an awesome time.

8. Chase Rice

            Chase just seems like a good time. He seems like the buddy that says, “damn that girl is hot” and then next thing you know he has his arm around her. He also seems like the guy that will just sit back and get drunk but watch everyone else be stupid around him. I mean, the dude owns bison. He’s cool. Throwing down with Chase on his bison farm would be legendary.

7. Michael Ray

            I think the Michael Ray crew is widely underrated. I’m sure Michael is an awesome hang. If he brings Tim Montana, even better. If Tim brings Travis Pastrana or Billy Gibbons… better. If Gibbons brings Nickelback… you see what I’m getting at. Micheal Ray seems like a good ole boy who gets a little bit of a bad reputation from his early music, but “Whiskey and Rain” and “Holy Water” are two of the most country songs I’ve heard in a long time. I’m down to booze with him anytime.

6. Jason Aldean

            Jason Aldean seems like the type of guy that has parties where everyone would wear white and drink fancy shit. Still, the guests at the parties would be insane. Dee Jay Silver, Chucks Wicks, and Donald Trump? Sign me up. Maybe the party would be at his massive mansion in Nashville. Maybe it would be down in Florida on some yacht. I wouldn’t be going to chill with Aldean expecting a camo redneck party, but it could be fun to hang with a bunch of rich conservatives.

5. Kid Rock

            Take everything I said about Jason Aldean but making it white trash. That’s exactly what I would expect from Kid Rock. I want beers flowing, extremely illegal drugs everywhere, and people driving around on quads. I want a massive bonfire that someone is dumping wood in using an excavator. I want kegs all over. I want the most redneck shit ever, and I’d expect that from Kid Rock.

4. Brian Kelly

            Give me a rager at the beach cowboys house on Daytona beach. I want some fruity beach drink in my hand, the waves in the background, and everyone in bathing suits in the sand. I’d imagine that’s exactly what it would be like to party with the former FGL singer. Give me the tropical dream party.

3. Koe Wetzel

            A party with Koe Wetzel should be how the hangover started. I’d expect to walk into the punk-country singers house, and then wake up in another state the next morning. I bet Koe goes hard, and I want to try and keep up.

2. Midland

            These guys are wildin. If you’ve never heard them on the “Bussin’ With the Boys” podcast, do it. I want all the shenanigans. I’d expect a lot of boozing, a lot of ball busting, and a wild night with Midland. They do have a cruise next year… maybe that would be a good time to go hang?

1. Morgan Wallen + Ernest + Hardy

            I’m going to cheat here. Obviously Hardy and Ernest should be on this list, but it felt kind of lame to have 30% of my list be those three. So I sandwiched them all together and I’d expect them all to be together when we throw down. Ernest has the kid, Hardy has the wife, and Morgan still has the wild side, but 1 night with these three all going 100% would be unbeatable. I can’t even imagine what a night with them would be like, but I’d be willing to bet it would be the best night I’d never remember.

            So this is my list. Who did I miss? Let me know in the comments!


CMT Music Awards Review

CMT Music Awards

            Guess what, the CMT music awards were mostly wrong. They didn’t get it all wrong, but its shooting under 50% from the field. First off, its “fan voted” which is fine, but you’re telling me the fans didn’t vote Morgan Wallen into a single award? You’re telling me the fans didn’t want to see Hardy perform? CMT stands for Country Music Television and while they had their moments, I don’t think that’s true anymore. Let’s break down the CMT awards for all you need to know.

The Goods

Kelsea Ballerini’s Monologue

            Anytime a tragedy happens, there are no answers on how to handle it. Kelsea delivered. The monologue was spot on. Kelsea did a great job holding back tears in dedicating the show to the kids that were killed by a deranged shooter. The CMT awards knew they had to deliver an event paying homage to the terrible murders of children, while also keeping it moving, they did just that, good Kelsea, and good job CMT.

Blake Shelton being a Jackass.

            I don’t know why, but Blake’s performance starting out slower than he expected made me laugh. Him starting out saying I can’t see you Austin was classic Blake. His performance of “No Body” was spot on. Still, him just being classic Blake Shelton was hilarious, and a great start to follow-up Kelsea’s otherwise realistic but sad start to the CMT awards.

Ashley McBryde and Wynonna

The performance was good don’t get me wrong. Ashley looks good. I always loved Ashley as the tatted up badass who popped up at award shows. Now though, its skinny Ashely McBryde. I’m an overweight balding white dude, so all I can say is damnnnnnnn Ashley. She looks really good skinny. I’m happy for Ashley for losing weight, and her singing is still spot on for what we expect of her.

Carrie Underwood

            Carrie can sing the alphabet and it would be a #1 hit. She performed “I Hate My Heart” and it was amazing. Carrie can’t do any wrong, and her wrong performance of a country song proved that.

Lainey Wilson

            That ass. I mean Lainey can sing. She performed… a song and I loved looking at her… listening to it. Nah I mean Lainey singing “Heart Like a Truck” of course was hot…  I mean good. Go look at… I mean listen to the Beats Beer Bonfires 2023 Female Artist of the Year and tell me she shouldn’t win. Lainey is going to change country women for music in a way that hasn’t been seen since Carrie Underwood and “huge gulp” Taylor Shit (Swift?) Either way, Lainey is a stud and about to rule country music for a long time.

Cody Johnson

            I mean what can I say. Was the awards show in Texas? It was. Cody Johnson. Is Cody Johnson the biggest name out of Texas ever? Yes? Cody Jonson. CoJo can sing, and the CMT upper management sucked him off for all of it. He won an award, he sung twice, and he was CoJo. That’s all I have to say about that.

The Bads

Tyler Hubbard

            I mean, what the fuck are we doing here? Do we need to fill the Florida Georgia Line gap with a half a member of the band? I’d rather hear Brian Kelly. Not to be an asshole, but Mickey Guyton, Morgan Wallen, or Luke Combs would’ve been all better uses of my time. Can’t get them? How about Ernest, Hardy, Midland, or a singer IN YOUR BUILDING?!?!?!?!?! Fuck outta here CMT.

Gary Clark Jr.

I’m not sure who this is… moving on.

Carly Pearce

Idk I’m kinda over the Carly Pearce-Michael Ray breakup. I get it, he might’ve cheated on you? He’s an asshole? Sure, whatever you say. Maybe he’s an asshole, but I’m over it. Fine, you’re going to do a cover with someone else, that’s fantastic! Oh, its Gwen Stefani… ok. Carly is way better than this country music. Stop using her name and start using her actual talent. That’s all I got.

Texas Country Music

            Well, the event was in Texas, right? So naturally Randy Rodgers Band, Aaron Watson, and Wade Bowen attended right? No? Fuck Aaron Watson was at a Taylor Swift concert. If you’re going to pretend to care about country music than ask country music artists to attend. Wade Bowen, Casey Donahew? I’m super happy Jelly Roll won, but maybe mix in Jelly with these other guys? Oh wait, they are all grinding in the fields while Kelsea and Kane are getting their hair done.


            I’d probably give this award a 2/10. That’s probably singularly because of Jelly Roll winning. The show was a 2, and that’s only because Jelly Roll and Cody Johnson carried it. Let Ernest, Hardy, and the big hitters like Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen into the show and that changes. Kelsea’s monologue was a great start, but after that it went downhill. If I was in charge? Wallen, Combs, Hardy? CoJo rocked, but maybe some Watson, Randy Rogers, ect? What do I know but if you’re going to celebrate being in Texas celebrate Texas? That’s why I’m not in charge of the awards.