Fred's Country Fried Rock: Whiskey Myers, “Ballad of a Southern Man” (2011)

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It’s not the words you string together, but how you put them together that counts.

At first blush, Whiskey Myers’ “Ballad of a Southern Man” has the makings of a country checklist song. You’ve got the rifle handed down from a grandfather, you’ve got moonshine, you’ve got fishing, you’ve got a few patriotic and religious statements, you’ve got a name drop of Lynyrd Skynyrd. But what you have with this song that you don’t have with a checklist song is all of those elements coming together to form a narrative.

It’s a song that paints a much truer picture of Southern and country life than those celebrations of an idealized lifestyle. There’s joy, happiness, good times and a certain amount of defiance, but there’s also pain, sadness and struggle. Aside from that, it’s just a damned good song. Whiskey Myers blends elements of traditional country, the Red Dirt movement and Southern rock into a moving piece of music.

There’s something about singer Cody Cannon’s voice that feels honest and heartfelt and cuts right through the listener, and I can relate to most of the things he sings about in this song. It hits me where I come from, but it doesn’t try to candy-coat the experience or turn it into some kind of party-life rallying cry.

The rest of Whiskey Myers’ 2011 album Firewater runs the gamut from very traditional acoustic country to hard-driving Southern rock. It’s all pretty good stuff, but this song is easily the centerpiece of the record.

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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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