Aaron Lewis – “Country Boy”

Stephen Deusner | January 19th, 2011

Aaron LewisOf all the late-twentieth-century alterna-pop artists to go country in the early twentieth century – Bon Jovi, Jewel, Darius, Kid Rock, that guy from Better Than Ezra – the least likely convert has to be Aaron Lewis, the stubble-headed singer for mook-rock also-rans Staind. You may remember them from their aggressively introspective radio ballads, “So Far Away” and “It’s Been Awhile.” You may also remember them from their dogged obscurity for most of the past ten years.

Just about the time we’d all managed to get him out of our minds, Lewis churns out this turgid country-rock single about how downhome he’s always been: a harbinger of a full-on country album threatened for later this year. Lewis has been touring as an acoustic act for a few years now, so he must have seen this genre switch as no big deal. He still has a way with a plodding melody and humorless lyrics, and he even retains his signature self-pitying moan that marked his Staind balladry and now sounds about as current as a backwards baseball cap.

But he’s traded that that era’s pained self-absorption for this era’s touchy defensiveness, which means that it’s not enough just to be country—you have to perform country, like it’s an act you dress up for. In this regard, “Country Boy” overreaches egregiously. If you believe this song, the Vermont-born and -raised Lewis has been country all along, keeping it so very, very real by hailing from a small town, hunting white-tail buck, driving a diesel pick-up, and hating the government. Presumably, he was cranking Hank back when Staind were opening for limpbizkit.

Lewis’ approach to his adopted genre is nothing we haven’t heard before, but that doesn’t make it any less cynical, especially coming from an outsider. This single ultimately is nothing more than a string of rural signifiers presented as vague autobiography, less a creative rejuvenation than commercial condescension, as Lewis trades off a depleted market for one that values nostalgia (even, apparently, for late 90s rock) and still sells records. How long till Fred Durst dons a cowboy hat?

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  1. [...] infused into this four minute gem. Lewis may still be carving his niche in his new genre, but if “Country Boy” is any indication of the upcoming album, fans can expect Town Line to be filled with strong [...]
  1. Ben Foster
    January 19, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I’ve never really had much of a soft-spot for those “I’m so country” songs, but I have an especially hard time believing it when it comes from a washed-up rocker. So I guess what he’s saying is “A country boy is all I’ll ever be… starting NOW.”

  2. Thomas
    January 19, 2011 at 9:32 am

    …was there really a need for a sequel of “long line of losers” or “way out here”?

  3. Josh
    January 19, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Well, I kinda like this song. Oh well.

  4. Jon
    January 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I’m trying to remember the last time I read a review that, like this one, said virtually nothing about it’s purported subject; this is all about how the reviewer dislikes the dude’s previous music (which is largely irrelevant), about how the reviewer doubts the dude’s motives (also irrelevant, andabout which he can only speculate) and about his “outsider” status and purported cred, which are not only irrelevant but invite us to consider the writer’s “insider” status and cred.

  5. Kelly
    January 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    “This single ultimately is nothing more than a string of rural signifiers presented as vague autobiography, less a creative rejuvenation than commercial condescension, as Lewis trades off a depleted market for one that values nostalgia”

    Jon-sounds like he’s talking about the song to me.

  6. Jon
    January 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Really? Does it give you some idea of how it sounds? It barely even tells you what the song’s about; it’s mostly about the dude and his purported motives.

  7. Larry
    January 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I guess if Kid Rock tried to go country, Aaron Lewis and the likes would be the next to follow. Just say no!

  8. Jon
    January 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    And who is this Fred Durst guy, anyhow?

  9. Kelly
    January 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    “Lewis churns out this turgid country-rock single about how downhome he’s always been”

    Jon – There’s another reference to the actual song, and yes, it does describe the “sound”, even if it does so in vague terms. For a review that you claim doesnt really discuss the song much, there sure seems to be enough mentions to warrant a better judgement than what you’ve handed-down.

    Also, there’s more to this song than the actual lyrics and music, thanks to the artists backstory. I have no problems with a song review discussing the artists background when the artist in question has special circumstances. Not adressing Lewis’ background in this review would be idiotic and simply incomplete.

  10. Stormy
    January 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Jon: Turgid: 2. (of language or style) Tediously pompous or bombastic

    What I got from the review is that the song plays like an accoustic Stained song and falls prey to their over-serious and overly simplistic, plodding melodic weaknesses. It relies more on cliches about what country is supposed to mean than on any actual elements of country while not getting that these cliches have been so overused at this point it is impossible not to use them ironically (whether you intend to or not). I got that it relies too heavily on a pseudo-reality made up of re-runs of The Dukes of Hazzard and My Name Is Earl, instead of rooting itself in an actual reality and finding the aspects of that life which make a good country song. So, I actually got a lot of information about the song from the review. Of course, I’m so dumb I actually know that Fred Durst is the lead singer of Limp Bizcut (and the bartender from the last good episode of House).

  11. Occasional Hope
    January 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    It’s very boring and goes on for far too long, and I don’t much like this guy’s voice (he sounds as though he has laryngitis), but I’ve heard worse. I’m a little surprised the reviewer didn’t mention the fact that George Jones gets a line or two to sing.

  12. Rich
    January 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I agree with Jon 100%. If it weren’t for the daily country music news on this site, I wouldn’t visit. The reviews, if not about someone from TX, are mostly negative and usually opinions/judgements of the artist and not reviews of the songs or albums. If you want some respect for your reviews, you should stick to reviewing the songs/albums. I happen to like the song and don’t care where Aaron Lewis came from. A good song is a good song.

    Funny I made almost the same comment on a Jamey Johnson Guitar Song review a while back and the entire review disappeared……

  13. Jon
    January 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Well, just to be clear, I don’t think it’s a good song. In my opinion, it’s a pretty bad one, and I agree with Occasional Hope’s assessment, which, when it comes to the actual record, manages to say at least as much in one half sentence as the entire review does. And I’m sorry, Kelly, but fishing around to find a phrase or two out of four paragraphs doesn’t really refute my observation about where the bulk of this “review”‘s attention and energy are directed.

    And why would reviewing the record instead of the singer’s past music, purported motives and ostensible lack of cred be idiotic? What light does dwelling on those topics to the near-complete exclusion of everything about the record itself shed on the song’s artistic merits?

  14. Kelly
    January 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Jon, I didn’t have to fish around, the examples were evident and substantial. As I said, this artists back story is more relevant than that of a typical new country artist so that’s why it merits prominent inclusion. Its not hard to understand. Sorry Jon, if it’s not clear to you by now, it’s not going to be any more clear to you anytime soon, good sir.

  15. Jon G.
    January 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    You know what? I’m actually going to agree with Jon this time. I like that the reviewer addressed Lewis’s background; frankly, had he not, it would’ve at least seemed strange to those of us familiar to it. But I think the primary focus of a song review should be the song, and there just wasn’t enough text dedicated to the song itself relative to that spent elsewhere.
    I also don’t think that knowing that the singer of a song isn’t what they claim in the lyrics is enough to dismiss the song. I mean, we all know that Bobbie Gentry and Reba weren’t hookers named Fancy and that Johnny didn’t shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

  16. Jon
    January 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Dude, it took you TWO TRIES to come up with seven or so words’ worth of vague (your word) characterization of how the record sounds; I’d say “fishing around” was an understatement, and that’s without even discussing whether “counry-rock” is not just vague, but vaguely wrong. Furthermore, saying that this artist’s back story is more relevant isn’t the same as showing why, especially since you say that viewing the matter differently than you do is idiotic.

  17. Jon
    January 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    @Jon G. Exactly. Mentioning dude’s background is one thing. Making it the central point of the “review,” not so much, especially since it’s about 90% snark; Deusner seems to think that “Vermont-born and -raised” is a devastating criticism.

  18. luckyoldsun
    January 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    The problem with this song is that it’s extremely immitative of a certain strain of songs–and so many of the other ones–starting with Hank Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive”, through Rhett Akins’/Blake Shelton’s “Kiss My Country” and Josh Thompson’s “Way Out Here”–did it a lot better.

  19. Brady Vercher
    January 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I’m gonna have to back Kelly on this one. Of the four paragraphs, three of them actually do comment on the song–from the content to Lewis’ delivery. You probably wouldn’t figure that from reading Jon’s rhetoric, though.

  20. Dan Milliken
    January 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    “What light does dwelling on those topics to the near-complete exclusion of everything about the record itself shed on the song’s artistic merits?”

    1. What Brady said.
    2. “Those topics” are the most interesting and telling things about this single release. Frequenters of this site probably wouldn’t care to read a review that tells them only what they already expect (that the country single from the former lead singer of Staind is bad, and here’s why). What people do care about is what this release represents in a broader sense (the trend it illustrates, and the staggering lows that trend has reached). And of course the exploration of that is largely snark – the fact that this release has happened at all seems self-evidently ridiculous, worthy of mockery. If you disagree – and you’re free to – make an argument for that.

  21. M.C.
    January 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I’m not a fan of this song, but I have never understood why it’s so damning on the surface for any artist to try something different, especially as they age and mature. There seems to be an inherent criticism these days towards anyone crossing stylistic borders, and that seems unduly restrictive to me. There is so much music I love that comes from criss-crossing genres, or from someone taking a big artistic gamble.

    So much of the early rock ‘n’ roll was created by people who grew up in rural areas, many of whom later recorded great country music too (not just the Sun artists, but Ray Charles and Dylan and on and on). If someone like Mark O’Connor goes from winning CMA Awards to composing symphonies performed by the world’s leading orchestras, I say more power to him. And I think Kid Rock’s “Picture” is about the best thing he’s done, although I prefer the Allison Moorer version, who to me is a great country singer now creating interesting non-country music.

    That said, it’s not so much that the whole-hog negativity of the review bothers me. The main point that a lousy rock singer has made a lousy country recording is fine with me. But the implication that crossing genres is intrinsically “cynical,” as is stated, seems to be an on-going theme these days, and that rubs me wrong.

  22. jwedg
    January 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Get Bent! The rest of country “music” artists are redneck,inbreading hillbilles! Do you think we give a Shite if they’re truck breaks down. or theyre wife left them, or theyre dog died!! Aaron Lewis is an immensely talented musician.. Country music should be so lucky to have someone with his talent, even remotely involved!! But i would expect nothing less of a reaction from people who dont know the true mean of music. Aaron Lewis Is The BERRIES :)

  23. M.C.
    January 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    JW–Have you listened to the song? I think Lewis spent 5 minutes trying to say he’s a redneck too. I can’t account for his family lineage though. As a side note, I bet most hillbillies can spell “inbreeding” correctly, no matter what happened further up the family tree.

  24. KCarpy911
    January 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Not a country music fan but I enjoy Aaron’s solo stuff. Great song. Cant wait for the rest of the CD! Maybe im turning country? ;-)

  25. Fizz
    January 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    The reviewer probably spent so much time talking about those things which Jon, in his omniscience, deems “irrelevant,” because there ain’t much else to talk about. The song is entirely forgettable once you get past the novelty of its being sung by Aaron Lewis, former crybaby king of complaint-rock. It’s just another in a long line of disposable, cliche-riddled crap.

    M.C.: I don’t think the review was trying to say that all cross-genre endeavors are bad, or that artists should stay in their little predetermined box. Rather, the point seems to be that such things have to be convincing, and this song isn’t, no matter how many grizzled old legends make an appearance. Seriously, it’s hard to imagine George Jones saying, “That Aaron Lewis is such a talent, I want to wheeze out a few words on his country song!”

  26. Rick
    January 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    “Mook-rock”? Staind? Limp Bizkit? Fred Durst? Can’t say I’ve ever paid any attention to any of these before and I’m sure not about to start now. On the other hand I really enjoyed Stephen’s snarky review and am glad he didn’t focus any deeper on the musical merits(?) of this crappy song.

    Thanks for using “turgid”! What a cool word! If I ever grow weary of calling the shallow and bombastic pop-rock stuff they play on Top 40 country radio “AirHead Country”, I’ll just change over to “Turgid Country”! Cool!

  27. Fizz
    January 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    KCarpy911: Rest easy. You’re not turning country, you’re just buying the gimmick.

    Saw Staind live in about 2002, what would have been the height of their popuarlty (a friend dragged me). Aaron Lewis spent most of teh show staring at the floor, holding his stomach. Apparently, he didn’t eat some bad chicken: that’s his normal stage presence.

  28. Jon G.
    January 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Dan Milliken raises some good points. But it’s a bit inappropriate to use an article to talk about the broader implications of a trend and then file it under ‘Single Reviews.’

    I agree with you 100% MC.

    And Fizz, I wish I could read what you typed in the article, but I can’t.

    I’d like to clarify that that I don’t think the article is terrible. I just think that it would be better if a single review were, ya know, a single review, especially since those reviews used to be my favorite thing about this site.

  29. Jon G.
    January 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    And also in regards to Dan Milliken, what I am saying is, as a frequenter of this site, I actually would have preferred a little bit more ‘the country single from the former lead singer of Staind is bad, and here’s why’ in the review. I do like that Lewis’s background information was addressed. I just wish that there was more of a focus on the song itself.

  30. Jon G.
    January 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I hate that I’ve done three messages in a row.
    Perhaps the ‘edit’ option suggested by some in the survey is a good idea.

    I would just like to add that, though I won’t speak for what frequenters probably want, I doubt that many frequent the 9513 as, well, frequently as Jon.

  31. Stormy
    January 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    MC: I think the larger point is that he isn’t really trying something different. The same music moved to a different aisle in the music store is still the same music.

    jwedg: What exactly is inbreading? I’m a fairly good cook and have watched all eight seasons of Top Chef and both of their Masters seasons, but I have never heard of it. Is it like a terrine, but with pastries. And also, can someone please tell me what that song about the guy who’s truck breaks down and he loses his wife and dog is? Cause people always talk about it, but no one can tell me what it is.

  32. Bryand
    January 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Aaron is one of the best singer/songwriters of my time. Say what you will, but I bet none of you know his background? I do. He is real. He listens to country music and enjoys it, thus it manifests itself into his latest music. The way I see it, someone who has been around since 1996 (and before) and has sold 16 million records, can sing in whatever genre he wants. Trust me when I say that he has enough fans to sing whatever he wants and still be successful. It’s a sad day on earth when ppl sit on their couch and judge others for being themselves.

  33. M.C.
    January 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Stormy–I’d have to disagree. Lewis’s voice may have the same tone as his other work, but the dynamics are quite different. There’s little about the music or lyrics that have anything to do with Staind, other than a heightened level of melodrama. But it’s a solo effort, not a band working together, so you’d expect it be different.

    That plays into my larger point: In Staind, Lewis was part of a band, all of whom play a part in the sound and outcome. Maybe Lewis did ride around on his own listening to Hank, you know; Deusner thinks that’s not likely, but that’s pure conjecture, and it could be wrong. Maybe the drummer listens to Buddy Rich as much as he listens to Lars Ulrich. Maybe the bassist listens to Beethoven and Black Sabbath equally. The point is, we don’t know, but I guarantee you they don’t all come from one place and one set of influences. They just happened to bond together on a specific sound they created together.

    I’ve not got no beef with snarkiness or strong opinions. I just picked this review to point out my general disagreement with aspects of reviews that characterize a rock singer, or anyone from outside the genre, for being phony, cynical or calculating for daring to sing a country-influenced song. It’s possible to criticize the work without leaping to conclusions that may not be true at all.

  34. Brian
    January 19, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    i could care less about the reviews, this song, or a majority of the debate in this thread, but this comment:

    “Aaron is one of the best singer/songwriters of my time.:

    needs some questions answered.

    1.) What is “your time”?

    2.) Are you serious?

    3.) Do you realize how insulting that comment is to hundreds of singers?

    4.) Are you serious?

    5.) Really?

  35. Stormy
    January 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    MC: I know that Kasey Chambers used to listen to a lot of Hank Williams because that informs her music. How does a love of country show in this song?

  36. Jon G.
    January 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I think it’s kinda weird to expect the sound of one artist to sound exactly like an artist that influenced them–or necessarily to even indicate that influence. By that I mean that people create differently. Certain artists, particularly outside of country music, might not be imitating anyone specific. I say ‘particularly’ because showing off your influences does not seem as fashionable in certain other genres as it does in country. Someone who grew up listening to Charlie Daniels Band might be in a group that sounds like Third Eye Blind. [Disclaimer: this is not drawn from any identifiable factual example] I accept that most people listen to a variety of music. I am comfortable typing that “Country Boy” does not bear any resemblence to a Hank Williams, Jr. song. I am not so comfortable signaling out the line referencing Hank Jr. as a lie (even though, in all likelihood, it is) simply because of that. This is especially true because there are a lot of contributing factors to an artist’s sound. What an artist took from their influence may not be what you yourself–or even the majority of people–associate with that influence.

    I remember reading Jim Malec’s review of Chris Janson’s “Until A Woman Comes Along” and being very offput by some of Malec’s comments.

    “…while it may not be cool to list Brad Paisley and Brooks & Dunn as your primary influences, it would be a heck of a lot more straightforward.

    ““’Till A Woman Comes Along” namechecks Waylon. Janson’s bio also namechecks Waylon. His list of influences, not surprisingly, lists Waylon. So, given all of that, is it really too much to ask that his music palpably demonstrate some connection to Waylon?”

    It is one thing to voice your opinion that a song isn’t very good. [I'll agree to as much in both of these instances.] It is another thing entirely to basically call an artist a liar. For all I know, Chris Janson is exactly what Waylon+Sex Pistols+The Rolling Stones sounds like. Moreover, Brooks & Dunn might have drawn from those same influences. To me, ‘influence’ denotes that the artist 1) listened to the supposed influence enough to understand its general technique (whether vocal, lyric, or musical) or ideology and 2) that technique or ideology somehow contributes to the artist’s output. This is not always obvious. Just because you can say that ‘Artist 1’s X sounds like Artist 2’s X,’ you cannot say that ‘Artist 1 copped their X from Artist 2.’ And just because you can say that ‘the work of Artist 1 displays no overt similarity to that of Artist 3,’ you cannot say that ‘Artist 1 was not influenced by Artist 3′ or ‘Artist 1 never listened to Artist 3, and if they say otherwise they’re lying.’

    Basically, some artists wear their influences on their sleave. You can tell that Josh Turner was influenced by Randy Travis. You can tell that James Otto was influenced by Ronnie Milsap. You can tell that a multitude of singers were influenced by George Strait. But at the same time, some influences are more faint. Even those artists I listed above probably have influences that appear in more subtle ways. So I hope I have not rambled too much and that you can at least understand my point even if you don’t agree with it.

  37. Saving Country Music
    January 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    This review is spot on. It has “virtually nothing about it’s purported subject” because the subject does not even deserve scrutiny. It is such a transparent stretch for money and relevance.

  38. Stephen H.
    January 20, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I think a “single review” should factor in the backstory as to why a song has been released to a particular genre as a “single”. A “song review” should review the song. So in terms of this being a “single review”, I think it does a good job as part of this song being a “single” is having a singer of a rock band that has charted three songs on its applicable Billboard charts in the last five years trying to reinvent himself in a new genre. If Deusner was just reviewing the song, then that information would be superfluous. But it’s a single, so it’s part of the backstory of the song.

  39. Stephen H.
    January 20, 2011 at 12:58 am

    *backstory of the steps that led to this song being released to radio

  40. Ben Foster
    January 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    “Of all the late-twentieth-century alterna-pop artists to go country in the early twentieth century…”
    ____________________________

    You mean “early TWENTY-FIRST century”?

  41. Fizz
    January 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I think he meant artists who had their initial heydays in the late 20th century.

  42. Jon G.
    January 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    That’s a logical defense, Stephen H. I personally would just prefer that the song itself factored a little more in the review, since a single is a song still.

  43. Jon
    January 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I think he meant artists who had their initial heydays in the late 20th century..

    Apparently Ben Foster should have put the original's erroneous "twentieth" in all-caps, too, so that folks like Fizz might actually get the point.

    @Jon G. Neither the song as a composition nor the record as a performance get very much attention in this "review," and that's where the problem lies. It's all, to use Dan Milliken's word, snark, and almost all directed at 1) his other musical efforts, 2) his lack of hipness (see the line about being as current as a backward baseball cap), 3) his Vermont-ness, and 4) more generally, his "outsider" status – all of which merit a lot of "right on, dude" language from people who give every sign of being just as much "outsiders" as Lewis is. In short, this is once again a rant about rock disguised as a rant about country – only this time, very thinly disguised and blended with the most blatant kind of pandering in which a writer can engage.

    In fact, "Saving Country Music" kind of gives the game away when he (or is it she?) says:

    It has “virtually nothing about it’s purported subject” because the subject does not even deserve scrutiny.

    Thereby raising the question of why, the record is indeed undeserving of scrutiny, it got any in the first place.

  44. Vicki
    January 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I agree it’s a repetitive country song that has shades of songs in the past. I admit though..I have always thought his voice was haunted and something about it just makes me stop and listen. It’s too early to see what happens..but..I do love his voice even when he was with Staind.

  45. idlewildsouth
    January 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I loved Staind and actually had high hopes for this song, but I just don’t think it’s very well written. I like his voice, but the writing is just weak to me. I do kind of chuckle at his claiming to be an insider all along, considering this is the guy that sang “I’m on the outside, I’m looking in”

  46. Nick
    January 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Come one now. A washed up rock star? Everyone has country roots and some just forget abgout them. Look at Darius Rucker? Yet every body loves his music including me. Im glad he has come back to his roots and brought a little bit of a different sound to country.

  47. Tim
    January 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    What difference does it make? Who makes the music? Terms like outsiders and cynical, are repugnant and not worth the time of the author. When we denigrate art, we show are little minded philosophies. IF Charlie Daniels and Geroge Jones can sing with him then it’s music. Music is what it is all about not some crtic who wants to spew venom when he feels like it. Same could be said of the music mafia trying to be cross over hit makers. The fact remains this and all American music forms has its roots based in the blues.

  48. Carey Ann
    January 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Tim, I agree with you completely..

    Fizz, “Grizzled old Legend” not only is this a hateful comment but it is also Ignorant. And the keyword here is LEGEND! Everyone has a right to an opinion but name calling is just immature, especially since you are criticizing someone who has talent that you don’t have…

    JWEDG, This HILLBILLY agrees that Aaron Lewis is a talented musician, and I really like this song. But, you did not have to go this far to make your point. You just made it real easy for people to ignore your opinion altogether, now isn’t that the opposite of what you were trying to do?

    Country or not- I like the way he thinks and the way he sings- It’s never too late to be a “Country Boy”

    “Don’t tread on me” What is wrong with that?

  49. Scott Stapp
    January 29, 2011 at 2:46 am

    “I’m a Jew from Taxachussetts” wouldn’t sell records. The truth is often ugly.

  50. Chuck
    January 29, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Guys, a famous person once said of country music: Songs say today what they said 100 years ago. I know Aaron personally from my dealings with the 3DD charity organization and I can tell you that most of you are way off base is your criticisms of him. He is an extraordinary talent who probably should have been on the country scene way before now. He is a true American who loves his country. I would venture to say the most of you writing have no clue what being country is or what country music is all about. You need to go visit the Opry in Nashville or Music Row or maybe go to the hills of East Tn or down in the MS Delta and become educated on the subject. If you don’t like it, don’t listen.

  51. Barry Mazor
    January 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

    “The truth is often ugly.” And bigotry is even uglier.

  52. WAYNOE
    January 29, 2011 at 9:49 am

    “…keeping it so very, very real by hailing from a small town, hunting white-tail buck, driving a diesel pick-up, and hating the government…”

    Another shining example of a reviewer having other motives than the validity of the song to write about.

  53. Barry Mazor
    January 29, 2011 at 10:01 am

    If I get your point, and I think I do, I believe you’re misreading the reviewer in that case, Waynoe; I don;t take that line to be much of a comment on the politics or even the sociology of the lifestyle referred to, only on the singer and the record using that line as a signifier for, perhaps– himself. that’s a part of the record and, obviously, different people here are having different reactions to how credible that picture and posture is for this guy, or if they care about that aspect.

    So it seems to me to be a very legitimate thing to raise in the record review: what the record is apparently trying to suggest, whatever the motive.

  54. Stormy
    January 29, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Scott: Why don’t you talk to Kinky Friedman sometime?

    Chuck: Ah yes, the “if you don’t like it don’t listen” argument. Remember that in a year when his album hasn’t sold and he gets dropped from his label.

  55. WAYNOE
    January 29, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Barry,

    Do you think that if another singer put this same song out that Stephen would have a different review?

  56. Ben Foster
    January 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I’m neither Barry nor Stephen, but I would not like this song no matter who sang it. It’s like three songs rolled into one, none of which were especially interesting to begin with. The three verses visit three different lyrical concepts, but don’t fully develop any of them, so it seems very disconnected.

    Also, I did happen to notice that Stephen’s review did criticize the “plodding melody” and “humorless lyrics,” and described it as merely “a string of rural signifiers presented as a vague autobiography.” He also noted that it’s “nothing we haven’t heard before,” which suggests that he has heard similar songs from other artists, but didn’t like those songs either. So that leads me to believe that this song would get the same verdict no matter who sang it.

  57. WAYNOE
    January 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Ben,

    You are correct. And that was my point. I wonder what other “lyrical redundency” Stephen would decry. Oh yes, probably the mention of God and the flag. After all, mentions of these are so pandering, right?

  58. Barry Mazor
    January 29, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I can’t speak for Stephen.

  59. WAYNOE
    January 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Understand.

  60. Scott Stapp
    January 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I guess you guys can’t even read.

    How is me pointing out that core demographic is full of dumb hicks who wouldn’t buy the record othrewise at all bigoted?

    Hell, Kinky Friedman would be the first one to tell you.

  61. Stormy
    January 30, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Aw crap, it just occurred to me that a recently fired Scott Stap might actually try to become country.

  62. Scott Stapp
    January 30, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Hell yeah!

    My first country single, “DERP!” is being released in March!!!

  63. Barry Mazor
    January 30, 2011 at 7:49 am

    So you’re point, SS, (whether you’re “that” Scott Stapp or somebody adopting the name) is that since you’ve given a choice in your so-cute sentence between seeing it as a slam at New England Jews or at the “dumb hicks” of the country music audience, while it manages to be offensive to both at once, we can’t read and there’s no chance of finding bigotry in it?

  64. ashton
    February 2, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Aaron Lewis is verryyy talented and this is a great song. for all the haters..guess thats why you dont have a record deal(:

  65. Barry Mazor
    February 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Obviously you are absolutely correct, Ashton. Anybody who doesn’t like an act or the act’s record can be dismissed as a “hater”–and, oh yeah, an envious would-be musician trying to drag down their commercial betters. That’s the ticket. . That covers it.

    JEESH! Where do these patently ridiculous notions come from?

  66. stormy
    February 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    OMG! Aaron Lewis is the only reason I don’t have a record deal. Well, now I have anther reason to hate him.

  67. Scott Stapp
    February 3, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Barry, you’re a damn fool.

    You might want to read up on the initial reactions to Kinky Friedman when sang “They Don’t Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore”.

  68. Barry Mazor
    February 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Scott, you no doubt have a point there.

    I am, however, entirely familiar with reactions to the collected works of Mr. Friedman. And various sorts of prejudice.

  69. stormy
    February 3, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Scott: He ain’t Kinky, he’s my governor.

  70. Scott Stapp
    February 3, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I never said anything negative about any ethnic group. I heard the song, saw the album cover and title, and then I went to a Staind site where it said Aaron Lewis was a Jewish kid from Mass.

    And yes, I did call people who buy into this calculated drivel idiots. These people exist in every music market. It is not exclusive to a single genre. If you like the music by itself, that’s fine. I don’t think that makes someone dumb. On the other hand, there are people who only like the song because of the calculated imagery from the music video and the lyrical pandering.

    You may want to the check the comments from the YouTube video above. Some really ugly stuff, and most of it isn’t “hater” material against the tune.

  71. Barry Mazor
    February 3, 2011 at 8:05 am

    OK, Scott, now we’re having an actual discussion.

    I’d just say this: There are those who respond to images, often very calculated ones, sometimes implied, in most all pop music genres. And there are percentages of audience members who, respond to those images (and yep, also manipulations) as predicted in all of them, including the ones that play off on not being manipulated (folk, punk)…

    The idea that small-mindedness is some special attribute of country music and its fans I do not accept–and I say that well aware of fan reactions in a variety of genres /formats.

    I don’t know whether this is an “ugly truth” or not. But then, I wasn’t at all sure whether your original post was dissing country listeners, as you stopped by here to do it, and announcing the “ugly truth: about them, or you were, in fact noting that Lewis was a Jew from New England and TAHAT was supposed to be an ‘ugly” truth. Either way, it seemed ugly.

    (If both of these ideas were unintended or I was misreading you–good.)

  72. Jim Malec
    February 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Does anyone else find it hilarious that this guy is posting as Scott Stapp?

    “I did call people who buy into this calculated drivel idiots.”

    Brilliant.

  73. Carl
    February 3, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    btw Barry most ppl have a misconception about a lot of different genre’s fans for instance I’m into metal I bet a lot of you think I’m a racist, satanist, nazi bastard wich is stupid I myself only prefer metal I love many different kinds of music (exept for watered down pop be it big n rich, or BFMV, OR AV7X) as far as satan I don’t beleive god exists why would I worship his made up villain & racism just gets in the way of rational thinking what I mean is many of my favorite musicians are not caucasion for instance Scott Ian, Slash, Geddy Lee, David Lee Roth, Gene Simmons, Chuck Shuldiner, are all jewish (or at least of jewish descent)

  74. ashton
    February 8, 2011 at 11:33 am

    why is everyone gettin all rattled up for one song. lol

  75. johnny
    February 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I just saw the VIDEO, and said to my wife, who the hell is that? she said Aaron Lewis of Staind. I said this is the best damn country song i ever heard..What a powerful voice, and a great mix of Rock and Country. Very well done, and some of the above comments are from people who don’t really understand music, or are very close minded..THERE.

  76. AKWOMEN
    February 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Well I for one enjoyed the hell out of this song…but Im country and Im proud of it…to the people who dont like the song or the artist Ok thats your opinion, and everyone is entitled to one:)I hope the guy continues to put out country music..he does a good job…in my opinion lol

  77. Loverofmusic!
    February 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I think it takes genius to create more than one style of music! I think some people are jealous of the success of others!

  78. Stormy
    February 20, 2011 at 11:15 am

    What’s his second style of music?

  79. Cory
    February 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    This reviewer obviously had a negative predisposition towards Lewis. Pretty much referred to him as a washed up 90s rocker throughout the whole review.

  80. allhaileris
    February 22, 2011 at 10:37 am

    In this day and age I’m just thrilled to hear a pop musician under 40 use phrases like “I’m proud to be American”, and “I’ve never needed Government to hold my hand”. All I ever hear is demoralizing hate America ravings, or ‘yay I can fornicate but can’t support my family in any way’ garbage. Good for him.

  81. WAYNOE
    February 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

    @Allhaileris – Man I agree with you on your statement but you are opening the floodgates for retributive comments. Be prepared.

  82. stormy
    February 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

    What song has the line yay I can fornicate but can’t support my family in any way?’

    The only place I hear things like that is Fox News.

  83. WAYNOE
    February 22, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Didn’t take long – love you anyway Stormy.

  84. stormy
    February 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Waynoe: And yet, no one can come up with the song. Because NO SONGS SAY THAT. The closest you can get to anything she said is Emenem’s Cleaning Out My Closet when he talks about his early childhood. And I would hope even the most conservative of republicans wouldn’t expect him to support his family at 10.

  85. Waynoe
    February 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    @Stormy – His name is Eminem. Secondy, obviously ALLHAILERIS was paraphrasing and speaking of subject matter. Don’t be like others and want times and dates for songs with specific lyrics. You know good and dang well what ALL’s point was.

  86. stormy
    February 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    1. Actually, his name is Marshall Mathers.

    2. Its not called paraphrasing, its called sterotyping. Its like the old cliche about playing a country song backwards. The problem is that its not actually true, its just some BS reason people give for not listening to a genre they don’t like. And its fine to not listen to a genre you don’t like, but don’t pretend to be aware of the subject matter.

    Because here’s the thing:
    What would you do if your son was at home
    Crying all alone on the bedroom floor
    ‘Cause he’s hungry
    And the only way to feed him is to
    Sleep with a man for a little bit of money
    And his daddys gone
    Somewhere smoking rock now
    In and out of lock-down
    I ain’t got a job now
    So for you this is just a good time
    But for me this is what I call life
    (City High–Hip Hop)
    and
    You got a girlfriend don’t you boy?
    Nervous hands cant lie
    Married men don’t ask how much, single ones ain’t buying
    One day you got everything, next day it’s all broke
    Let miss Trixie sit up front
    Let her wipe your nose
    Working for the money like you got eight hands
    Flat on your back under a mean old man
    just thinking happy thoughts and breathing deep
    Between your mama’s drive and daddy’s belt
    It don’t take smarts to learn to tune out what hurts more than helps
    (DBTs Country)

    Are about pretty close to the same thing.

  87. Katie
    March 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I love this song..I think folks on here are way too judgemental..I mean do you know Aaron Lewis personally? Do you know how he grew up & exactly what he was like? No I’m pretty sure you dont..So instead of dissing on something you know nothing about check ur facts 1st..Aaron Lewis has some awesome talent that I only wish I had half of. He writes all of his songs unlike most artist these days so therefore he has to know something about what he is singing about..Am I right or am I right? That’s what I thought.

  88. stormy
    March 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Who are all these artists who don’t write their own songs?

  89. billy p
    March 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    this a great song i love country music and if my hero toby keith wrote it you would say its great. aaron lewis is a super talent and attract a different kind of contry audience not your typical ten gallon hatters listen to some of the other songs on this c d and you will change your mind i am from massachusetts and where arron lives could not be any more coutry life than if you were in alabama trust me

  90. Joseph
    March 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    At least he’s singing about real events and his life , when you got taylor swift and other “washed up” country singers singing about stuff that means next to nothing to a true country boy. Aaron Lewis is a great singer and could probably care less about the negative opinions. Don’t Hate Rock/Country!

  91. Jon g
    March 7, 2011 at 1:20 am

    I think it’s a great song. It’s not Hank Williams. Who gives a shit about the singers history as a another genre. The voice is great. The drone guitar is great. This review is worthless.

  92. Adam Mckernny
    March 13, 2011 at 3:28 am

    As far as im concerned it doesnt matter what his motives are, or if you think its country or not. “It’s just good music if you can feel it in your soul.”

  93. LA
    March 28, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Finally a real country song this decade and everyone bashes it. It just shows what country music has come to and howfar ist gone from its roots. just to get 2 legends on it, George Jones and Charlie Daniels, really says something about what kind of meaning it has. But i guess all of you bitching about it cant see that and dont know what country music really is about.

  94. Dr. No
    March 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    LA,

    Just because George Jones & Charlie Daniels are guests on the album, doesn’t make it country.

  95. Dr. No
    March 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Billy P,

    Funny–my friend from Massachusetts said that the area where Aaron Lewis is from is very affluent and that there’s nothing country about the location.

  96. Stormy
    March 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    The meaning of the song is Aaron Lewis can afford George Jones and Charlie Daniels?

  97. Jon
    March 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    The meaning of the song is Aaron Lewis can afford George Jones and Charlie Daniels?

    You think Jones and Daniels will record with anyone as long as they get paid? Why?

  98. luckyoldsun
    March 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I don’t care who the guy is, it’s just a bad song. Country singers have been doing “I’m a Country Boy” songs at least as far back as Little Jimmy Dickens, but the good ones have managed to put SOMETHING in the lyrics that conveys a genuine feel for rural America.
    This song is just Hank Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive” with tired cliches and without the evocative imagery that Hank presents, love him or hate him.

  99. luckyoldsun
    March 28, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    It wasn’t my comment, but the answers to Jon’s questions are (1) “Yes” and (2) “Why not?”

  100. Jon
    March 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    @Luckyoldsun Two strikes and you’re out. Batter up!

  101. Jon
    March 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    @Luckyoldsun By the way, why don’t you contact Jones and Daniels and ask them to sing on your record. Offer to pay them. Report back on the result.

  102. luckyoldsun
    March 28, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Jonny–

    “Two strikes and you’re out. Batter up!”

    If I’m out, then why am I still up?
    You’re a little lame on your metaphors today, or maybe baseball isn’t your thing.

    Are you suggesting that I go and commit fraud–against George Jones and Charlie Daniels, no less–by telling them that I’m producing a record and offering them substantial amounts of money to sing on it…when there’s no record and no money to pay.

    Or are you telling me that I should actually go and SPEND a fifty- or a hundred- thousand dollars or more of my own money to get musicians and studio time and get a couple of old country legends to participate–just to make an insane point?

  103. j
    March 31, 2011 at 1:49 am

    @Luckyoldsun, being cute doesn’t make you right.

  104. luckyoldsun
    March 31, 2011 at 10:52 am

    J–
    Well it was a dopey, dishonest question.

    Stormy did not appear to be suggesting that Jones and Daniels would record with literally ANYONE who offered to pay them. That’s just your way of putting up an knocking down a straw man.

    She was MAYBE suggesting that they would record with anyone who is proposed to them by their manager/advisor and who has, say, a record deal.

    I believe that Stormy’s sentiment is correct.

  105. Jon
    March 31, 2011 at 11:46 am

    In the first place, I’m not “J.”. In the second place, that’s a nice, creative presentation of what you might wish Stormy had written, as opposed to what she actually wrote. And in the third, both you and she are basing your impressions of what Jones and Daniels would do on nothing more than the most profound ignorance. Perhaps what you mean is that if you were in their shoes, you’d be happy to prostitute yourself?

  106. luckyoldsun
    March 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Jonny–

    Mr. Literal strikes again.

    I’m not sure why even in your unforgiving literal mind, Stormy’s comment–“The meaning of the song is Aaron Lewis can afford George Jones and Charlie Daniels?”–means that she (and I) think that Jones and Daniels would record with LITERALLY anybody–as opposed to that they would record with any up-and-coming singer who has a record deal, and when they’re paid for their time and contribution.

    I also don’t know why Mr. Literal interprets this as prostitution. I suggested that Jones and Daniels would come into a studio and contribute a few seconds of vocals for anyone who paid a fair price for it. That’s what old country stars do. I didn’t suggest they would offer their bodies for natural and/or unnatural acts.

  107. Chickette
    March 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    “I also don’t know why Mr. Literal interprets this as prostitution.”

    Because he has too much time on his hands and is desperate to start an argument, as always.

  108. Waynoe
    March 31, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Funny – You tend to have too much time on your hands when you are ?????

  109. Jon
    March 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I suggested that Jones and Daniels would come into a studio and contribute a few seconds of vocals for anyone who paid a fair price for it. That’s what old country stars do.

    Restating an ignorant insult makes it neither less insulting nor less ignorant.

  110. luckyoldsun
    March 31, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Jeez,
    The things Mr. Literal finds to be insulting.

    What are YOU suggesting, by the way?–that Jones contibuted a few seconds of vocals to Aaron Lewis’s record only because Jones admires Lewis’s music? That Jones wouldn’t contribute vocals to another artist if he didn’t care for that artist’s work?

    Talk about ignorant.

  111. Jon
    March 31, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I’m not suggesting, I’m stating that you have given no indication, in this thread or any other, that you have any knowledge of or insight into what motivates old country stars in general or Mr. Jones in particular when it comes to making appearances in other artists’ recordings. Same goes for Stormy.

  112. luckyoldsun
    March 31, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Jonny–
    I actually do some reading.
    I read Jones’ autobio. He writes in there that he doesn’t pick the songs he records. He says basically, “I’d be crazy to think I know better than the producer what to record.” Jones stated that he’d never heard of Elvis Costello before Costello came around and started recording with him.

    I also read an interview with a guy named Martin Delray–who was briefly famous for recording a new version of Johnny Cash’s “Get Rhythm” in the early ’90s and getting Cash to come in and duet on it. Cash also did a video with Delray on the song. Delray was interviewed after Cash died. I was expecting to hear about some deep connection between him and Cash. Delray was completely laudatory of Cash and said how great the experience was. But he also said that THE ONLY TIME IN HIS LIFE THAT HE MET OR SPOKE TO JOHNNY CASH WAS WHEN THEY SHOT THE VIDEO. Basically, someone at Mercury Records–or wherever Cash was at the time–lassoed Cash into helping on the project. Nothing less, nothing more. Cash got paid and did a professional job–what he was asked to do.

    So do I think that now that he’s pushing 80, Jones is suddenly taking an interest in new music from 30-year-old rockers. That’s ridiculous.

    I imagine Jones’ manager called him and said, “I got a good studio gig for you” and Jones said “Great”. A driver came and picked him up and Jones went and did the job and got paid. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’m sure Jones is delighted–and justifiably so–that people still want him to record and still pay him.

    I have no friggin idea why that’s offensive to you or strikes you as being akin to prostitution.

  113. Jon
    March 31, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    You mean your recollection of what Jones “basically” (as opposed to actually) recollected about not being familiar with a duet partner’s work 20 years prior in the autobiography he wrote with Tom Carter 15 years ago? And the fact that your expectation of hearing “about some deep connection” between a singer and the guy who appeared with him on a remake of one of the latter’s signature hits was confounded? Those are the sources of your insights into what motivated George Jones and Charlie Daniels to come sing on this record? I’m sorry, but that’s laughable.

    So do I think that now that he’s pushing 80, Jones is suddenly taking an interest in new music from 30-year-old rockers. That’s ridiculous.

    Probably. But it isn’t anything I or anyone else argued. In fact, I’ve offered no alternative scenario at all – and I don’t need to. I’ve merely pointed out that neither you nor Stormy has any good reason for thinking that Jones or Daniels’ recorded with Lewis only because he offered to pay them, and that such a belief is insulting to them, insofar as it implies they’re willing to go sing on records they otherwise wouldn’t like for financial gain.

    I imagine Jones’ manager called him and said, “I got a good studio gig for you” and Jones said “Great”. A driver came and picked him up and Jones went and did the job and got paid.

    The operative word there being “imagine, as in, imaginary, guessing, making up; imaginary manager-artist dialog, complete with imaginary “musician lingo.”

    Now, I’ve never had Jones in to sing on a project of mine, but I have some pretty good friends who have, and I’ve gotten some pretty detailed accounts of the experience; they really don’t match up in any respect with your imagined “good studio gig.” Same goes with Daniels, except in that case, I’ve actually spent time talking first-hand with him on several different occasions in addition to hearing from others about his involvement in their recording projects, etc. – and again, none of that matches up with your imagined “good studio gig” scenario. That doesn’t mean that they were as engaged in this case as they were in others, but it does underline that the Stormy/Luckyoldsun explanation has no connection with what’s actually known.

    The notion that Jones & Daniels’ appearances on this recording means that they agree with every jot and tittle of the lyrics is a fairly ignorant one, but it at least it doesn’t portray them as lacking in integrity; Stormy’s belief, served up in response to that argument, that it means they were simply bought does, and so does your elaborate – and “imaginative” – defense thereof.

  114. luckyoldsun
    March 31, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    “neither you nor Stormy has any good reason for thinking that Jones or Daniels’ recorded with Lewis only because he offered to pay them, and that such a belief is insulting to them, insofar as it implies they’re willing to go sing on records they otherwise wouldn’t like for financial gain.”

    For someone who claims to be in the business, you exhibit this bizarre notion that getting paid for working is somehow illicit.

    I’m not suggesting that Jones sang on a record he “otherwise wouldn’t like for financial gain” as if that’s a denigration of his integrity.

    I’m suggesting that Jones didn’t “like” or “dislike” Aaron Lewis’s music because he probably didn’t know the guy from a hole in the wall. Jones sang his lines because it was a job and he likes to work when he can. Jones has said that he takes a completely hands-off approach to his own records and just goes in and sings the material he’s given. The guy’s practically 80 and has been making records for 60 years. If you interview Jones, you’ll be lucky if he remembers what’s on his own records from the last 20 years. He’s certainly not concerned with Aaron Lewis’s record.

  115. Jon
    April 1, 2011 at 3:47 am

    It’s precisely because I’m in the business – and unlike an anonymous [commenter] who can claim whatever he wants to from behind a pseudonym, it’s easy enough to see exactly what it is that I do and have done in the past – that I know how divorced what you imagine (your word) and what you believe is “probably” the case are from reality. Because while in your imagination “singing some lines” is just like pushing a broom – “Jones sang his lines because it was a job and he likes to work when he can” – the fact is that it isn’t (and you really don’t have any idea of what he likes to do with respect to work, either). And so what Jones “probably” does or doesn’t know about Aaron Lewis’s music is utterly irrelevant, as is what you think you remember about what you think he said about the “approach” he took to choosing songs for his records a couple of decades ago.

    I’m not suggesting that Jones sang on a record he “otherwise wouldn’t like for financial gain” as if that’s a denigration of his integrity.

    Of course you are. If that’s not your intent, then quit defending it and suggest something else instead.

    Furthermore, while you keep trying to slither around it, you not only depicted Jones in this insulting fashion, but Charlie Daniels and “old country stars” in general in the same way – and in those cases, without even the fig leaf of dubious recollections of what you think you read about what they might have done 20 or 30 or 40 years ago.

    Edited: Please refrain from name calling.

  116. Waynoe
    April 1, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Funny how I have two comments that are “awaiting moderation” that are not nearly as derogatory as Jon’s “creep” comment but his is allowed to go through. Reminds me of the current state of hypocritical liberal journalism.

    As I have said previously Jon, name a time and place. Start a discussion right here on a topic of mutual interest so we can both comment for others to read and judge. Doesn’t matter what my name is. It will not change the content of my posts.

  117. Brady Vercher
    April 1, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Waynoe, the creep comment was overboard and I’ve edited it out. And as much as Jon does agitate other members, unlike you, he hasn’t stated that his goal was to antagonize them.

    So when you act like a pig-headed idiot, feel entitled to rights that you don’t have, continually attempt to antagonize us and the writers on this site, while hiding behind a pseudonym, don’t act surprised when we remove your comments without regard. We’re not some evil faceless government institution or deep-pocketed, well-connected corporation pushing a political agenda. If, Mr. Roberts, you can learn to participate constructively, we’ll get along just fine. If you have a problem with that, you know how to contact me directly instead of polluting these comment threads with your inanity.

  118. Waynoe
    April 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Brady,

    Appreciate your forthright response. I can always deal with that. As I previously mentioned, using a pseudonym has no bearing on what is written as, with any body of work, it should stand on its own. I think one can make relevant comments including disagreeing with or taking exception to reviewers’ writings and thoughts. You have to agree that publically posted comments are fair game for rebuttal.

    That being said, you are correct in that the purpose of postings here should not be to antagonize. Obviously relevant comments can do that at times, but it should not be the MAIN goal of said comments. I will do better on that and apologize for my unprofessionalism in that regard.

    But speaking of Jon, of whom I have actually commended before, a thorough review of his postings reveal an equally antagonistic platform. His knowledge notwithstanding, this has created an acerbic atmosphere that I, and others, merely respond to. Enough said about that.

    Lastly, I would assume that you and other contributors on this site are professional, and I believe you are, and that means that you will not let your comments or thoughts of posters such as myself be colored by the fact that we often take exception to written comments, reviews, and opinions. I find it highly suspect that critics, generally speaking and not including you persoanlly, are the least open to their own work being critically reviewed.

    Going forward, my chief concern is the possibility of not allowing us to critique the writings of the contributors. That would be disingeuous. Personally, I think we should be allowed to do that as long as we articulate our thoughts on specific points. I beleive you would support that.

    Best wishes,

    Mr. Roberts
    Professional business owner, local and regional musician, and usually a pretty nice guy.

    (I will give my website via personal contact request)

  119. Brady Vercher
    April 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I have no problem with people commenting under an alias and sharing their opinion or knowledge in a friendly manner. However, considering your comments a body of work that should stand on their own is a bit silly. You (and others) have been willing to do and say things anonymously that you wouldn’t want attached to your reputation or business’ reputation–and yes, that does make a difference.

    I think one can make relevant comments including disagreeing with or taking exception to reviewers’ writings and thoughts. You have to agree that publically posted comments are fair game for rebuttal.

    I don’t disagree.

    That being said, you are correct in that the purpose of postings here should not be to antagonize. Obviously relevant comments can do that at times, but it should not be the MAIN goal of said comments. I will do better on that and apologize for my unprofessionalism in that regard.

    Thank you.

    I find it highly suspect that critics, generally speaking and not including you persoanlly, are the least open to their own work being critically reviewed. [...] Going forward, my chief concern is the possibility of not allowing us to critique the writings of the contributors.

    We don’t have any intention of not allowing people to leave feedback, but we also reserve the right to remove comments when they cross the line.

    I do think this “acerbic” atmosphere that you’ve pointed out has got to change–for us to continue to enjoy publishing, for the enjoyment of the people contributing to The 9513 (based on conversations I’ve had with a number of them), for the enjoyment of regular members, and for new visitors to feel welcome to join the conversation.

    And finally, I’m not sure where any of our contributors has demonstrated an unwillingness to receive valid, constructive criticism; it comes with the job and all the folks that write here are smart enough to realize that, and hopefully learn from it when necessary.

  120. Leeann Ward
    April 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Amen, Brady. I read everyday, but commenting is no longer enjoyable. I love the contributors here and have been faithfully reading since late 2007, but I have no desire to engage in unreasonable, mean-spirited, knit-picky, disrespectful, circular logic “discussions.”

    The End.

  121. luckyoldsun
    April 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Gee,
    Looks like someone went off the deep end, to the extent that he said something so nasty to me that they had to yank it. Some people get way too emotionally invested in these discussions.

    I think I’ll go put on some Jones.

  122. the pistolero
    April 2, 2011 at 12:23 am

    You (and others) have been willing to do and say things anonymously that you wouldn’t want attached to your reputation or business’ reputation–and yes, that does make a difference.

    Yeah, and certain commenters here have taken an attitude towards other people that would’ve gotten them punched if they’d copped that attitude in real life. Constructive criticism is one thing, but know-it-all, self-righteous, half-witted blowhard berating is quite another.

  123. luckyoldsun
    April 2, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Pistol–
    Actually, I think this site is relatively tame in that regard. Look at you-tube–or even the comment threads attached to articles on mainstream news and sports sites–and what passes for criticism there is people spewing the vilest of outright hate and curses at each other.

    I never curse at anybody on the internet, whether anonymously or not. And I try not to write anything personally abusive–except when someone insults me, I return the dig as elegantly as I can.

    I also think that it helps to have a sense of humor. I mean most people would think having strenuous arguments about country song lyrics and singers is a bit strange to start with. One should not take it completely seriously.

  124. the pistolero
    April 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

    what passes for criticism there is people spewing the vilest of outright hate and curses at each other.

    Oh, they’d get their beatdowns too.

  125. OhioHillbilly
    April 2, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I am a little disappointed by Mr. Deusner’s review of this song, but opinions are opinions and we all have one (its kind of a basic human right)… For any of the doubters and “outsiders” out there, it doesn’t get any more “Country” than George Jones, Charlie Daniels & Chris Young. This song seems to be Aaron introducing himself to those who would like this style of music, and explaining his journey that brought him to this record. He also shares some of his political views in this song, which I definitely identify with (smaller gov, more personal freedom), we don’t need our hands held out here in the country. I feel that if you don’t understand this song, then you must have a huge disconnect with issues this country is going through right now. Its never too late to turn country and there is definitely nothing wrong with being patriotic. This song bleeds patriotism and happens to resonate with me and my hillbilly side!

  126. MR. ROBERTS
    April 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    @Ohio – Boy, are you setting yourself up for ambush! If you need help just let me know. Those same ones that decry this type of artist and views would probably be slobbering over Sheryl Crow and welcoming her with open arms.

    Best regards,
    Waynoe Rahabilitated

  127. luckyoldsun
    April 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Mr. R.
    I just listened to it again.
    I don’t decry this type of artist or his views–I just think it’s a really tedious, lousy record. (And if I listen to it a third time, it’ll probably sound even worse.) I happen to think Hank Jr.’s “Country Boy Can Survive” is a great record. As is “Sweet Home Alabama,” Kevin Fowler’s “Long Line of Losers” and all the backwoods songs of Chris Knight.
    I can like a “statement record” whether I agree with the artist’s politics or not.

  128. MR. ROBERTS
    April 2, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    I agree with your premise and

  129. MR. ROBERTS
    April 2, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    …I do not necessarily like every song whose “statement” I agree with. Sorry about the split posts.

    Sincerely,
    Waynoe Rahabilitated

  130. travis
    April 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Actually, at first listen i was disappointed, but it is Aaron lewis so i gave it another listen. Everytime that i listened to the song i found something that i liked. It is not what everyone is use too from Aaron, but it is still him. Musicians like to explore other genres because GOOD musicians are not inspired by just one genre. Also, it allows them to grow as an artist. Like it or not, his influences are still a part of what made Staind what it is!

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