This Oklahoma alt-country quintet offers up some important life lessons: “Bend but don’t break/Give before you take/Always look ‘em right in the eye.” Also, put your underpants on before your trousers. That’s not one of the lyrics, but I think it’s good advice.
Hellbound Glory’s gravel-voiced frontman Leroy Virgil makes drinking and drugging until you wake up half-dead in a puddle of your own filth sound kinda fun, especially if this song serves as the soundtrack. If, as he sings, it’s “too late to save [him] right now,” might as well pour another round.
Moorer doesn’t pull any punches with this angry alt-country song from excellent live album Show. The way she snarls “The desk-bound clowns that run this town/Have watered down the sound like their gin,” it’s hard to tell what Moorer hates more: desk jockeys or weak drinks.
This 1995 single, which Anderson penned with his frequent songwriting partner Lionel Delmore, went to #3 on the charts. It’s an excellent song, but after listening to poor John wonder “How much more can this poor heart take/You bend it until it breaks,” it becomes clear that said heart needs to be a bit more flexible. Like this.
This song, which has also been recorded by several artists under the title “I Ain’t Broke But I’m Badly Bent” is all about a young man trying to remember how all his money disappeared. The non-surprise ending reveals it was all spent on pretty girls. Check out the excellent version from Dan Tyminski and his band below.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.