Rascal Flatts — “Banjo”

Sam Gazdziak | February 21st, 2012

rascalflattsIf you’re looking for a good time, so the song says, just get out of the city and travel far enough into the country until you start to hear banjo music. There, you’ll find yourself at peace in the country and free from stress. Of course, that advice didn’t work so well for the guys in Deliverance, so you’re on your own if you decide to take vacation advice from Rascal Flatts.

This is not to make light of the banjo, which is enjoying a burst of popularity. Naturally, it’s a staple of the bluegrass scene, which is as vital and as diverse as it’s ever been. It’s also gaining some mainstream use as well, thanks to folk/rock/roots acts like Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes. In country music, though, it’s pretty much Keith Urban’s occasional use and Taylor Swift bringing her six-string banjo to the Grammys – not that you could actually hear it.

That’s not the problem with Rascal Flatts’ new single, “Banjo.” You can definitely hear the title instrument – for the first 30 seconds or so. After that, it’s buried by the typical bombast that comes with a Flatts good-time party song. If the title led you to think you were going to hear anything remotely traditional or folksy, you really should have known better. The band can break out of its slick shell on occasion, but this is right in its comfort zone, a rock/pop confection that’s as rootsy as a strip mall.

Compared to Rascal Flatts’ other party anthems, “Banjo” isn’t as tacky as “Bob That Head,” nor does it feature anything as vocally embarrassing as Gary LeVox trying to say “sex-ay” like he did in “Summer Nights.” So as far as the band’s bad songs are concerned, this is one of the better ones, but there’s still very little to redeem it. It’s the ultimate throwaway tune, completely unmemorable except for the brief moments when the banjo is allowed to rise over the din.

Thumbs Down

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07PFP_uAGAw

  1. Grizzly Adam
    February 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Rascal Flatts singing a song about the banjo? So I guess George Jones will be rapping about hanging out in Compton with his homie Ice T on the next record…

  2. Dave W.
    March 8, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I like the song but like you say – the title is Banjo but it doesn’t really make use of the instrument enough to showcase it. If Brad Paisley did a song called Banjo, you can bet we’d hear it throughout.

Tagged In This Article

// //

Current Discussion

  • Tom: ...it is almost the year 2015 - ain't it about time we leave people (celebrities included) having the personal relations …
  • Paul W Dennis: I had assumed that Herndon was gay after the incident that Lucky Old Sun referenced, but bought the next Herndon …
  • Jonathan Pappalardo: For anyone who wants to buy it, the Rosanne Cash 45 is available again. With 1000 copies being created, I …
  • luckyoldsun: It seemed that the old morals arrest incident really did Herndon in. He was a pretty big country star before …
  • CraigR.: Hopefully in the future being gay or straight won't matter at all. And then people won't have to hide their …
  • Bruce: Jim has a remarkable voice for his age. Heck, for any age.
  • bob: Good luck to Herndon and Gilman. I've seen Herndon in concert. While I liked his 90's material better, he's still …
  • Leeann Ward: It was Brad Paisley and its on his Christmas album.
  • luckyoldsun: I seem to recall hearing a recording of the Christmas song "Walking in the Winter Wonderland" where the line "In …
  • Leeann Ward: For a slow new Christmas music year, the announcement of the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP and the Christmas tracks by …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • walkerandthetexasdangers3
  • deadmanstown
  • tom t hall storytellers
  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton