Jackson Taylor and the Sinners, “Country Song” (2009): Fred’s Country Fried Rock

Share this:

My son and I went bowling on a recent afternoon, and while at the alley, I was assaulted by an hour and a half of current Nashville songs. At least five of those had to do with a truck and were likely written by songwriters who have never owned a truck, or at least never taken it off the paved road. One guy was singing what sounded like a hip-hop rhyme about his speakers going boom-boom, and all I could think was “this is a country lyric”? Waylon wept.

Later that night, after I got the boy in bed, I was cruising YouTube, as I do from time to time looking for stuff I haven’t discovered yet, when the video for “Country Song” by Jackson Taylor and the Sinners popped up in the right rail. I recognized the band name because I had gotten a review copy of their 2011 record Let the Bad Times Roll, which I remembered liking. I clicked on the video on a whim, and it turned out to be perfect timing.

The song starts out with a slashing, punk-influenced guitar riff, but soon settles into the Texas country where Taylor is comfortable, influenced by guys like Waylon and Billy Joe Shaver. Looking a little farther into his catalog I even found a rocking version of Shaver’s “Honky Tonk Heroes,” which was also, of course, covered by Waylon.

That’s when Taylor begins spitting his anti-Nashville venom, which opens with the line “This ain’t no country song about your fucking pickup trucks or your grandpappy’s farm. This ain’t no Nashville scene: I ain’t no spikey-haired half-assed pop star wannabe.” He’s definitely not too concerned about making friends at Nashville labels or the Grand Ole Opry, either. It’s not all reserved for country, though. He’s also got a few things to say about current rock and suburban hip hop, too — fitting also for the current trend of “hick hop,” which needs to be put out of our collective misery.

The video itself is hilarious to me, too, with the guys done up in black metal-style corpse paint to go with their cowboy hats, Western shirts and overalls. I absolutely love it.

Sure, this is kind of a calculated rebellion against the country establishment song, and that’s a bit of a gimmick itself among Nashville outsiders these days, but it’s a really rocking song. And once you explore beyond this track, you’ll find a lot of very good Texas-style country. It’s often rowdy and occasionally thoughtful, but usually entertaining.

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips

Latest posts by Fred Phillips (see all)

Share this:
Close