Bucky Covington – “A Father’s Love (The Only Way He Knew How)”

Sam Gazdziak | March 23rd, 2010

buckySongwriters: Liz Hengber, Thom Shepherd & Steve Williams.

American Idol can be a cruel mistress. While there are are a few people, like Carrie Underwood, who have gone on to win the hearts and wallets of millions, there are many more, like Taylor Hicks, who have gone on to fill the bargain bins of big-box electronics stores. Bucky Covington falls somewhere in between–while he scored three Top 10 hits from his debut album, his last two singles haven’t fared nearly as well. And after a Nickelback cover flopped (thank goodness for small favors) he’s taking the radical step of releasing an actual country song as a single.

“A Father’s Love” is as predictable a country song as they come: There are three verses, each telling one of three parts of a story between a father and son. The third verse circles back around to the first, conveniently tying everything together. It’s also a bit of a cheese-fest, yanking on the heartstrings when a simple tug would have done the job. Likewise, the song’s “He was saying ‘I love you’ the only way he knew how” explanation is pretty obvious the first time through, much less the third or fourth time.

Still, the song does include moments that feel genuine. For instance, the son brings his dad over to show off his new house, only to have the old man start instructing the clueless kid about out-of-code wiring. Thankfully, “A Father’s Love” also avoids the expected ending, where the father dies somewhere between verses two and three, leaving the son to carry on the tradition with his own offspring. Not only does Dad survive the song, but he ends it as crotchety as he was at the beginning. Good for him.

Covington, who sounds like a rode-hard-and-put-up-wet version of Marty Raybon from Shenandoah, does a convincing job with the song. While he had no hand in the writing, he draws in enough emotion to make it sound like he’s narrating personal experiences. The music is straight country, with a generous dose of steel guitar.

The writers have done what they can while working within the constraints of what they hope is a radio-friendly song, and Covington turns in one of his better vocal performances. “A Father’s Love” isn’t completely original, but it has its original moments. Even better, it’s not a Nickleback song.

Thumbs Up

1 Ping

  1. [...] out Roughstock’s and 9513’s review of Bucky’s new song. We will keep up with the Bucky theme by making his new single our [...]
  1. Ed
    March 23, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I give it 2 thumbs up. I really like this song and it does hit home. BTW, I thought I’ll Walk was 100% pure country also.

  2. Thomas
    March 23, 2010 at 8:25 am

    …very nice take on the fatherly love theme, lyrically and vocally.

  3. waynoe
    March 23, 2010 at 8:26 am

    A country song with the presence of a steel guitar. Now that’s innovative, especially in the neo-pop country time we unfortunately live in.

  4. dilly
    March 23, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I like Bucky very much and the song is good, I wish him all the luck in the world with it. But there was no need to compare him with Taylor who is having much success, has sold more albums than many and is actually making more money in many different ways. It really gets old to see such a talent being used in this way. You would think a reporter with some class and knowledge could do a better job. I doubt Bucky would appreciate it, hes a friend of Taylors.

  5. Ann
    March 23, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Rather a middle of the road song and a middle of the road delivery – pleasant, but not convincing enough to earn my dollar.

  6. Barbara
    March 23, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Thumbs up! I agree. This song really hits home for those who can identify with a father who showed love in this way. Some of the words are literal quotes from my father who passed away 15 years ago. Needless to say, I was deeply moved by the song without feeling manipulated to be so. Hope this song does well. Thanks Sam for the fair and positive review.

  7. Rick
    March 23, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I get the blind devotion of Carrie Underwood’s fanbots, but the “Cult Of Sucky” leaves me completely baffled? Bucky’s live vocal performances are mediocre at best, but his adoring fans just don’t care just because it’s Bucky!

    This is an okay song and will likely do well at radio due to its overly sentimental, soccer mom friendly subject matter. It seems soccer moms have an insatiable thirst for this sort lyrical treacle. I’d like to hear this song sung by someone with a nice voice before passing final judgement as the traditional style arrangement is appreciated.

  8. Rachel68005
    March 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I agree, thumbs up from me as well! Great song! Touching lyrics. Bucky’s voice sounds fantastic on this song. I think this will be a sure fire hit for Bucky!

  9. Jake
    March 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Even if Bucky put out a song so good it made “He stopped loving her today” sound bad I would still want to punch him in the face for having a stupid mustache.

  10. Razor X
    March 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    There is no song so good that it makes “He Stopped Loving Her Today” sound bad.

  11. Matt B.
    March 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Honestly if this song doesn’t become a hit for Bucky he’s gonna have a hard time getting ANYTHING on the radio.

  12. AtlantaFan
    March 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Song is OK. Vocals OK. Lyrics predictable. I am not a Bucky fan (of his voice or the way he annoying flips his hair while singing), so I wouldn’t download this song. But I am ok with the song enough not to switch channels if it came on the radio.

  13. Rick
    March 23, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Gosh, its kinda disappointing this single got a thumbs up as Bucky’s fan base(ie “The Bucky Suckettes”) aren’t coming out of the woods to stir things up! Oh well….

  14. larry
    March 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Well a new one by Covington. I listened on your listening strip and, you know what, its not bad. I am laughing at the reviews. Last I remember Wilcox had a slew of comments on that Nickleback number. I disagreed some what in the fact that the video was done at a charity event for food for kids. I saw the video a few weeks ago on GAC and seems it must have done well there. Sam, I agree with the thumbs up here. As a matter of fact, I’d even put a toe up. It’s not bad and 9513 knows I’m not the nicest person. Hope the kid has good luck with this one.

  15. PaulaW
    March 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Been listening to Thom Shepherd sing this one for several years, always liked it. I like Bucky’s version of it as well.

  16. Matt B.
    March 23, 2010 at 10:51 pm


    Steve Williams does a nice version of it too.

  17. PaulaW
    March 24, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Matt, I’m sure he does. I’ve heard Steve with Thom several times, just not on this particular song. Steve has one called “I Get To” that I really love as well.

  18. Sue
    March 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    “Bucky Suckette” here. Thanks Rick!! Circulating Bucky’s name..good or bad…is GREAT!! It’s very refreshing to see so many of your loyal readers take the high road on Bucky’s new single. It’s a sweet song and Bucky does a good job with it. Hopefully, this song will put him back in the #1 spot where we “suckettes” would love to see him.

  19. Stephen H.
    March 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Put him “back” in the #1 spot? When did that happen the first time?

  20. Sue
    March 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    If my memory serves me right, “A Different World went to number one on the country charts.” “I’ll Walk” and “It’s Good To Be Us” were both in the top ten.

  21. Jo Jo
    March 25, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I forgot about “I’ll Walk.” I could be wrong, but I don’t think “A Different World” made it to #1. I would guess 6 or 7.

  22. Leeann Ward
    March 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    From what I can see, “A Different World” only made as high as #6.

  23. Kelle
    March 25, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I really like the song. I give it a 2 thumbs up. I think a lot of people will find this relatable. Bucky’s vocals also sound pretty good and best of all…it sounds like a country song! He just may have a hit song on his hands.

  24. Barbara
    March 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Perhaps the poster is thinking of Bucky’s first album which debuted at #1. On Mediabase Country Chart the songs from that album peaked at the following: “A Different World” #5; “It’s Good to Be Us” #10; “I’ll Walk” #9. Here’s hoping “A Father’s Love” does this well .

  25. johnholmes
    April 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    This is so typical of the Nashville record hype. Predictable lyric and melody being touted as great, touching, made me cry, etc…but it does keep the staff at the label busy running around the internet to try so salvage average.

  26. dixie green
    April 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    dear bucky, i married the man that this song was wrote about..(well, he fits the discription) i’ve watched my son go through some really hard times when it came to his dad and he always asked the same question, “what do i have to do to make him love me?” My response… “he loves you, the only way he knows how..” Excellent song, keep up the good work..

  27. Lisa
    May 18, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Am I the only person who liked the Nickleback song? Bucky has one of the best, raw voices I have ever heard since I began listening to country music 20 years ago. He’s real, no frill, just real country. That’s as good as it gets. Seems fans today exect too much fluff – they won’t get that from Bucky – he’s just a good ole country boy who likes to sing it real!

  28. Melvin
    June 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Worst Bucky song to date. If it wasn’t for Father’s Day, this song never would’ve been released. Huge thumbs down.

  29. rcky
    January 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I won’t buy singles but I’ll buy any whole CD that man puts out, I love his voice. Saying that I don’t think this song is a hit! I hope I’m wrong.

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