Fred's Country Fried Rock: Earl Dibbles Jr., “The Country Boy Song” (2012)

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Unlike several of the country music bloggers that I enjoy reading regularly, I don’t consider myself a crusader against pop country. I don’t care for it, and if I mention it, it’s usually some snide comment made in passing.

My philosophy in reviews has always been to try to highlight songs and artists that I do like and that I think are worthy of wider attention. It’s not that I don’t hear a lot of music I don’t like. It’s just that I don’t want to spend enough time with it to give it a review. Life’s too short, and too much of it is already dedicated to things I don’t like.

Occasionally, though, a song comes along where you have to tackle it head on, and that’s the case with “The Country Boy Song” by Earl Dibbles Jr.

Earl Dibbles Jr. is the comedic alter ego of singer/songwriter Granger Smith. I think it’s worth noting up front that I’m not a fan of Smith’s serious work. It’s a very slick and pop-rock influenced brand of country. It’s genuine and sincere, but it’s just not for me. As Dibbles, he strikes a perfect note, lampooning the country checklist song.

If you haven’t turned on a mainstream country radio station in the last few years, it’s full of these songs where the singers string together lists of idealized country life activities, probably written by guys who have never really done any of it and usually with some rock or hip hop influence. That’s just what Dibbles does here, though his daily schedule – and it’s a tough schedule – is a little more, ummm, interesting than the usual fare in these songs. It’s also a little catchier than the usual checklist song.

The song is completely ridiculous, and what makes it sad is that in the hands of, say, a Jason Aldean, and with a few lyrical changes, it would almost certainly be a big country hit.

There are several laugh-out-loud moments in the video, particularly when he flips the guitar toward the end of the song and has DIP written on the back of it in green duct tape. Be sure to check out the outtakes video on Youtube, too. They’re just as funny as the song.

There are some folks out there who think this is Smith’s stand against pop country. Others think he was just having a little fun. (He also has a rap parody called “B-24.”) Either way, it’s good stuff. I’d like to think that some of the people making these songs would look at this video and realize how hokey it is, but the truth is, “The Country Boy Song” could probably be released to radio as-is and there would be a segment of listeners who wouldn’t even realize it was parody. For the rest of us, though, it’s comic genius.

Put a good dip in. Yee-yee.

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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
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