Country Music Radio

While driving my tractor, complete with auto-steer, GPS and A/C, I turned on the good ol’ AM/FM radio and turned the dial for a bit. Being out in the boonies, I knew what I’d find. I wasn’t looking for any Kpop, block rockin beats or Asian metal. No siree, I knew what I was in for: country.

And did I ever find it!

They say that country music is the music of pain. Yes. Had you driven by my tractor while I was listening to Steve Fox’ “Don’t Grow Today” or Ruttan Derric’s “That’s How I Want to go Out,” you would’ve seen me in a heap of tears. “Why is it so beautiful?”

Drying my tears on my coveralls, I managed to scratch down a few song names that really impressed me. Some are old, some are new, but in any event, they make for some good listening.

Artist: Sugarland
Song: Stuck Like Glue
Sugarland on AmazonApparently Sugarland has been around for a while and the album that this comes off of is a drastic change from their past (they’re even on Oct 9th’s issue of Billboard magazine). I listened to the samples of this album and wasn’t impressed by any other song than this one. That being the case, love the vocal work and the guitar picking on this one! There’s a part where she does a rap/raggae verse which my cousin didn’t like, but I thoroughly enjoyed. The video’s kinda funny, and the green station wagon accents the bizaar-ness of the song. I think Sugarland’s onto something there. Available on Amazon.
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Artist: Steve Fox
Song: Don’t Grow Today
Steve Fox on AmazonNot to be confused with the Tekken fighter, Steve Fox is a country musician. This song reminds me of my nieces and how much I miss of their growing up by travelling around the world. Great song. This one had me bawlin’ in the tractor. Available on Amazon. That being said, listening to…
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Artist: Derric Ruttan
SongThat’s How I Wanna Go Out
Deric Ruttan on Amazon…reminds me why I have taken up doing so much travelling. From Ruttan’s 2010 albumSunshine comes this song recounting the life of an old man, just about to turn 88, and the conversation he has with the doctor about how he wants to spend the last few days of his life. The doctor suggests some meds, the old man pretty much says fuck that, I’m goin golfin and banging my wife one more time. Adda’ boy, old man! Well, maybe the feeling is expressed a little differently than that, but listen to the lyrics for yourself, or watch the video. Available on Amazon.
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Artist: Trace Adkins
Song: Honky Tonk Badonkakonk
Trace Adkins on AmazonThis goes back a few years already but it’s still a good one! I think it’s about women’s bums. It’s got that mean grunge guitar crunch, the pulse of the electronica beat, and the southern accent characteristic of country music. Dance tune at the Towers in Dauphin or Tijuana Yacht Club in Winnipeg! Available on Amazon and iTunes.
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Artist: Billy Currington
SongPretty Good At Drinking Beer
Billy Currington on AmazonMy uncle didn’t laugh when I made reference to this song but this song pretty sums up my life at the farm. I may not harrow straight, I may have run into an augur, and I don’t like tightening shanks, but I’m pretty good at drinking beer. He’s running a promotion where people can make their own videos for the song. Maybe I should’ve done one at the farm?? Available on Amazon.
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Artist: Big & Rich
SongSave a horse [Ride a cowboy]
Big & Rich on AmazonAnother “oldie” since the song is from the 2004 album Horse of a Different Color. For some reason country girls laugh when you say it, but don’t follow up. Must be my approach. Available on Amazon.
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Artist: Dixie Chicks
SongGoodbye Earl
Dixie Chicks on AmazonCountry’s answer to GN’R’s Used to Love Her, this song is about how a man is off-ed by his wife. Admittedly, he was kind of a jerk. I’ve never really given the Dixie Chicks much thought, except when they denounced Bush, but I kinda like their vocal work on this track. Available on Amazon.
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Artist: Toby Keith
SongShe’s A Hottie
Toby Keith on AmazonIs it me, or does country music typically revolve around good looking women men can’t get, men that have pissed off their wives/gfs/exs, drinking and/or combining? Here’s another catchy song that is about, surprise surprise, a good looking woman. What really got me was the vocal work with the lines “kaya diggy diggy hey hey hey!” Available on Amazon.
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Artist: Luke Bryan
SongRain is a Good Thing
Luke Byran on AmazonOh how my uncle was not impressed after I broke out into this song… while raiding his whiskey stash. And after such a crappy harvest, he especially didn’t appreciate me singing the virtues of rain! Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskEYYYYY, whiskey makes my baby, BUM BUM BUM, get a little frisKEYYYYY! 🙂 Available on Amazon.
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Artist: Little Big Town
SongTake Me Down to the Little White Church
Little Big Town on AmazonNot sure what to make of the cover art for their album The Reason Why, it’s kinda dark and mysterious, but the shiny-ness reminds me of Christmas albums. This is a catchy song that talks about a man not gettin no more action til he takes his girl down to the little white Church, which I presume is to get married. Listening to the samples, I might just get this album. Available on Amazon.
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Artist: The Arrogant Worms
SongLast Saskatchewan Pirate
The Arrogant Worms on AmazonFrom their album Semi-Conducted, I think this should be one of the first songs immigrants and travellers to Canada should listen to. Though not really country, it’s about country life. This song is about a Saskatchewan farmer who has a bad year, the government takes everything he owns, and so he becomes a pirate on the River Saskatchewan. It’s a long river, and it kinda makes sense to rule over it, but it kinda freezes over… and that’s when you move to New Mexico to plunder during the winter. This song is popular at weddings and socials, so my polka band used to play it a lot. I never did suggest to my uncle that if harvest failed he could always become a pirate. Brilliant. Available on Amazon.
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Artist: Laura Bell Bundy
SongGiddy On Up
Laura Bell Bundy on AmazonLove this lady’s voice! I think this song is about a man who’s cheating on his woman. Bad boy, cuz she knows she don’t “wear bath and body works” (really, can you tell?) The lines “giddy on up, giddy on out” caught my attention and have me hooked on this song. The video is kinda funny too, especially when she uses a gun to shoot off the man’s shirt and pants… without taking anything else off. The video also made me wonder, how much do country singers and videos represent true country folks? Apparently she used to work on Broadway and has a theatre background, which might explain the outfit she chose to wear for the video (pictured below.) Available on Amazon.

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Album: Brokeback Mountain
Various Artists
Brokeback Mountain Soundtrack on AmazonNow my life on the farm also reminded me of a soundtrack that I really enjoyed. Yes, the movie may have received some criticism for its content, but at least of the soundtrack, I think, was brilliant. Gustavo Santaolalla’s steel guitar interludes, Steve Earle’s The Devil’s Right Hand, and Willie Nelson’s He Was a Friend of Mine made this soundtrack stand out. Available on Amazon.

And with that, I’ve loaded up my iPod with some new country tunes to get me by the onset of another Winnipeg winter. Country music truly is the music of pain.