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George Strait – “Drinkin’ Man”

Songwriters:  George Strait, Bubba Strait, Dean Dillon

Long story short:  This is George Strait’s best single in years, and if it doesn’t at least crack the Top 20, I will be very unhappy.

Country music has a long history of drinking songs, though such have become less common in the antiseptic country radio climate of today.  But when a country drinking song attempts to portray the destructive effects of alcohol addiction, it can be easy for it to come across as high-minded or superficially judgmental. (See Tim McGraw’s “Nothin’ to Die For”) Strait’s “Drinkin’ Man” avoids that problem entirely by giving voice to the affected man himself through vivid first-person narration that shows naked honesty and self-awareness.  The lyric starkly portrays the feelings of guilt the man suffers, the consequences his habit reaps on his family and relationships, and the inner struggle he faces as his earnest desire to kick the habit collides with his deeply ingrained dependency. (“I look into the mirror, bottle in my hand/ I’d like to pour it out, but I just don’t think I can”) Likewise, the refrain “That’s a hell of a lot to ask of a drinkin’ man” captures the truth that no one can fully understand a struggling alcoholic’s plight except the affected individual himself.  And it’s a Dean Dillon collaboration – Who’da guessed?

Over the course of his thirty year career, George Strait has pulled off the near-impossible task of remaining commercially relevant throughout decades of changing tastes and trends, yet doing so with remarkably few concessions in his sound and style.  In the tradition of Strait’s very best work, “Drinkin’ Man” combines a straightforward, detailed, lyric with a tasteful production to create something universal and timeless.

It would be a sad thing indeed if the mainstream country format had deteriorated to the point that a career-best effort from George Strait could be ignored.  But, regardless of whether it finds the audience it deserves, “Drinkin’ Man” is a song that stands as a Jones-worthy classic, and a definite highlight in Strait’s long and storied career.

GEORGE’S SCORE:  10
(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)

HEAR IT 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Reviews, Single Reviews

 

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LeAnn Rimes, Lady & Gentlemen Tracklist Revealed

After being delayed for a year, LeAnn Rimes’ new covers album Lady & Gentlemen will finally hit stores on September 27.  With this 14-song set, Rimes will offer her own re-interpretations of classic country songs originally recorded by male artists.  The album will also include the original song and current single “Give,” as well as a re-recorded version of her classic 1996 debut single “Blue.”

Fans can listen to the album online 48 Hours in advance of release at www.leannrimesworld.com, and album is now available for pre-order on iTunes

“This album was born out of the memories of when I first fell in love with country music and in reflecting, I realized that almost all of my favorite country songs from back then were sung by men,” says LeAnn of the album. “I am honored to take a step back in time and sing these songs from a woman’s perspective and hopefully help reintroduce them to a new audience.”

The final track listing is as follows:

1.            Swingin’    3:00

(originally recorded by John Anderson, released in 1982)

2.            Wasted Days And Wasted Nights    4:04

(originally recorded by Freddy Fender, released in 1975) 

3.            Only Mama That’ll Walk The Line    2:37

(originally recorded by Waylon Jennings “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line”, released in 1966)

4.            I Can’t Be Myself    3:10

(originally recorded by Merle Haggard, released in 1970)

5.            16 Tons    2:39

(originally recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford, released in 1955)

6.            Help Me Make It Through The Night    2:58

(originally recorded by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1970)

7.            Rose Colored Glasses    3:04

(originally recorded by John Conlee, released in 1978)

8.            Good Hearted Woman    3:38

(originally recorded by Waylon Jennings, released in 1972)

9.            When I Call Your Name    3:49

(originally recorded by Vince Gill, released in 1990)

10.          He Stopped Loving Her Today    2:26

(originally recorded by George Jones, released in 1980)

11.          Blue   2:26

(originally recorded by LeAnn Rimes, released in 1996)

12.          Bottle Let Me Down    3:29

(originally recorded by Merle Haggard, released in 1966)

13.          Crazy Women    3:22

(bonus track – original new song)

14.          Give    4:31

(bonus track – original new song)

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 19, 2011 in News and Events

 

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