Shooter Jennings — “The Deed and the Dollar”
Sung over twangy Telecaster, pedal steel, and the steady thump of a bass drum, the lyrics may lean a bit too hard on the generic (“She’s got a special way/Makes me happy every day”) and folksy (She’s such a good catch/Got me grinnin’ like a goat in a briar patch…she’s wild as a Junebug on a string”), but there’s no denying that the chorus–though its proclamation that “She don’t just own me/She has grown me/In her secret garden deep in love’s holler” may nudge a scuffed boot toe over the line separating sweet from cheesy–is a catchy one that calls out for a Follow That Bird-style singalong should it pop up on your radio. Though Jennings hasn’t had a country single on the charts since 2005’s “Fourth of July,” “The Deed and the Dollar” has a good chance of success, as it is ragged enough to please the alt-country crowd while still having mainstream appeal.
All in all, “The Deed and the Dollar” is sweet and honest without being cloying, country without resorting to namedropping or countrier-than-thou proclamations, and solidly sung and performed—if this single is representative of the material that will be on Family Man, it’s definitely a record that’s worth anticipating.
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