Trace Adkins – “Brown Chicken Brown Cow”

Juli Thanki | January 20th, 2011

Trace AdkinsHave you ever thought to yourself that country radio needs more porno music? You know, like the cheesy, ’70s-style “bow chicka bow wow” that signifies impending sexytime? Trace Adkins’ new single—at #55 on the charts and climbing—is the song for you. It starts out promising, with a cool, plunky banjo intro and some country-rock guitars, but quickly goes downhill.

Here’s the story: Bobby Joe and Betty are a hard working farm couple who, in between slopping hogs and cutting corn, occasionally like to get busy up in the hayloft while their animals “[fight] each other for a front row seat.” The song’s title comes from the spying animals; slur “brown chicken brown cow” a bit and it sounds like “bow chicka bow wow.” The punch line is mildly amusing on first listen, but gets old the second time around. By the third time, it’s nearly intolerable.

Putting Betty and Bobby Joe’s sex life aside, “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” might be one of the weakest songs Adkins has recorded in some time, despite his best efforts to sell the song with his usual country humor; you can almost hear him smirk his way through the lyrics, but it’s just not enough. He’s released far better playful and sexy singles before: “I Left Something Turned On at Home” and “Hot Mama,” are just two. “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” feels like it’s trying too hard to replicate the chart success of “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” a better song which also centers on a lame catchphrase.

Trace has a million-dollar voice; he can do so much better than this ten-cent song.

Thumbs Down

  1. Ben Foster
    January 20, 2011 at 8:15 am

    A million dollar voice being spent on a ten cent song – AMEN. I really don’t get why anyone would want to write/perform a song that exists for the sole purpose of making one tacky joke that gets old quickly. Who thought this would be a good idea? Hey, Toby, you’re the label head. How about some quality control?!

  2. Stewman
    January 20, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Similar to how Carrie Underwood has incessently followed “Before He Cheats” with songs of a similar vein, Trace struck gold with the horrific “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and continues to follow that up with just abysmal songs such as this.
    It will be a big hit.

  3. Ben Foster
    January 20, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I could be going out on a limb here, but I actually wouldn’t be surprised if this one tanks. Country radio generally likes to keep things safely inoffensive, and this might be polarizing to country radio listeners. Plus Trace was never really a member of the Automatic Add club. But it might still be a hit. You never really know.

  4. stormy
    January 20, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I maintain my abducted by aliens theory.

    Hey, Toby, you’re the label head. How about some quality control?!
    You mean like “She’s a Hottie” quality material?

  5. Josh
    January 20, 2011 at 10:21 am

    a million-dollar voice to this ten-cent song…that pretty much sums up the artist nowadays.

  6. Will
    January 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I have to say, this is one of the worst songs I’ve heard on radio in a long time, and that’s saying something. And it’s the second single released from the album? That does certainly not bode well for the remaining tracks.

  7. Thomas
    January 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

    …material that requires facial expressions or the body-language of the singer, in order to make it work, should not be sent to radio – how difficult is that to keep in mind?

  8. Ian
    January 20, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Easily one of the worst songs ever written and performed.

  9. Lina
    January 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    This is a real shame Trace cannot come up with something better to release to radio that showcases his real singing talent. I guess he wants to follow in his bosses footsteps by putting out low class songs. Well who are we to judge huh? We are just the fans!! Ha Ha

  10. stormy
    January 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    I do not want to see the body language Trace needs to make this song “work.”

  11. Ben Foster
    January 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Stormy, my “quality control” remark was very flippant. I agree that it’s pretty darn obvious that Toby won’t be the one to provide it.

  12. Kerry
    January 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    As a Trace fan, this was a big fear of mine when I heard he was moving to ShowDog. He’s stooped to Toby’s level and is putting out mediocre to just plain bad material. Such a shame. As least his live shows are still fun and dynamic, unlike Toby who always seems to just be going through the motions. Hopfully Trace won’t copy that bad example as well.

  13. Matt B
    January 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Even though I don’t love this song, I don’t hate it. It’s fine for what it is, a ‘naughty’ radio song. I still maintain that “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” is a good song.

  14. Lewis
    January 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    It seems that with every other release that Trace puts out it’s a raunchy song like this song, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk, Ladies Love Country Boys, Swing, Hillbilly Bone. Where’s the Trace Adkins who sings songs like Every Light In The House Is On, All I Ask For Anymore, The Rest Of Mine, songs that he really should excel in instead of raunchy and sexual stuff like the songs I mentioned. And yes Trace is pulling a Toby Keith here (“She’s A Hottie”, “Every Dog Has Its Day”, “Trailerhood” as examples).

  15. Thomas
    January 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    …there’s nothing wrong with “trailerhood”.

  16. Lewis
    January 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Another singer that’s following in the footsteps of Trace is Craig Morgan. Good songs (“That’s What I Love About Sunday”, “Almost Home”, “This Ain’t Nothin'”, “Love Remembers”) followed instantly by bad songs (“Redneck Yacht Club”, “International Harvester”, “Bonfire”, “Still A Little Chicken Left On That Bone” which sounds just as raunchy as Trace’s new song)

  17. WAYNOE
    January 20, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Though I like the Trace and Toby group becasue they are politically incorrect and state their feelings even though the liberal press does not like them, and though I like them because they have been deserving of more awards than they have been given, the comment by Ben says it best. I unfortunately agree.

    Hey Stormy, stereotyping are we? You sure you don’t have a beef with these guys because of what they believe, hmmm?

  18. Fizz
    January 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Nothing wrong with raunch. People come on here clamoring for it and railing against Nashville’s G-rated version of life. So here’s a raunchy song … and it’s dumb, dumb, dumb.

  19. Jon G.
    January 20, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I belong to the Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic camp when it comes to Toby’s albums, but I agree that he has released some particularly bad singles since taking full control of his career. In all fairness, though, as much as I love Trace, his albums have contained spotty material such as this since ‘Songs About Me,’ if not since ‘Chrome.’ You can’t blame it on Toby.
    And I also agree entirely with the sentiments expressed in this review and by Fizz in regards to ‘raunchy’ songs.
    On a sidenote, Waynoe, I would venture that many people like an artist based on – believe it or not – their music, not their political beliefs. I would describe myself as a morally conservative/socially liberal independent, and I adore Trace’s and Toby’s music. If Stormy doesn’t, that’s her problem. That said, I don’t much care for “Brown Chicken Brown Cow” or “She’s a Hottie,” and I found her body language comment very funny.

  20. Rick
    January 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    If Trace wants to kill off his welcome at AirHead Country radio, he needs to just keep releasing crappy singles like this. I mean even airheads have better taste in music than this! Crikey!

  21. Kyle
    January 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm


    Last year, I heard Rutherford say he wrote this song after he heard his kid tell the joke that was going around every high school in America last year (“What two farm animals are most likely to star in a porno? Brown-chicken-brown-cow”). He sounded quite amused that someone might actually be cutting it.

    Kind of hard to believe this actually happened…

  22. stewman
    January 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    raunch and cheese are two totally different things.

  23. WAYNOE
    January 20, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    @Jon – I agree with your distaste for the singles as well. I tire of them, especially from those who are much more capable.

  24. Gayle
    January 21, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I like this song and FYI – Trace didn’t write it.Songwriters: Kenny Beard, Casey Beathard, Rivers Rutherford, I don’t see raunch or cheese – just a fun little song – for all the embracement of Taylor and Brad and Jason – whose songs all sound the same year after yaer I don’t get the picking on Trace.

  25. Fizz
    January 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Seriously, without belaboring the obvious, even in a country song, farm animals don’t belong in songs about sex. It puts all kinds of wrong pictures in your head.

    Reminds me of the Nashville rock band Hair of the Dog, who on their first album, included a song that made a play on another term for male chicken. The chorus went “The farmer’d gone and the rooster was ready to rock / His mama hen with the big-daddy southern …”

  26. Ceij S
    January 29, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    This is a song about a husband and wife who are still passionate about one another. Because it borrows from a well known riff indicating sex, it’s raunchy? The #1 song for 2010 (#1 song for the whole year) was about a married couple having sex. “Why don’t we just ‘dance'” by Josh Turner. Because it wasn’t sung by Trace it was fine and dandy. You guys don’t dislike this song, you dislike the singer. When a sexy man sings a sexy song it’s just too sexy for y’all to handle. We’ll let Josh Turner sing it next year so it can be a #1 hit with no controversy

  27. trillium
    January 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I love this song! Could do without the reference to riffs contained in the 70s porn flicks (who knew? not me!), but in our busy society when couples tend to fill their time with activities that fail to include each other, it’s refreshing for a song to come along that talks about a couple who not only work together all day, but seek to express their love for each other as well. Definitely a million dollar voice – for a million dollar song that has many green with envy, wishing their life was that active.

  28. Code
    February 11, 2011 at 9:53 am

    The music video just came out, its kinda funny, i still hate the song though.

  29. Mel
    February 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Hate the song….actually get up to turn off my radio until the song is over….

  30. Charles Steele
    February 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I absolutely love the song and think the video is hilarious. Still no reason to be talking against an artist for being so creative and sing this song on a record! I actually know someone at my local radio station that loves the song, so that’s saying a lot. Trace Adkins’s good at what he does. So, don’t give him a bad reputation. Brown Chicken Brown Cow

  31. Stormy
    February 22, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Songs like this always remind me of this song:

  32. Fireball Roberts
    March 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Wow, I’ll bet some of the ridiculously prudish commentors in here absolutely love that new piece of pandering schlocky crap from Brad Paisley. “This is Country Music” is so full of the stereotypical jingoistic, flag-wavin’, bible thumpin’ BS that it makes me gag when I hear it. But y’all want to blast Trace Adkins for having the balls to do a fun, catchy bit of music.

    It’s people like most of those commenting here that are RUINING country music, not saving it. We don’t have ENOUGH Waylons, Willies, and other outlaw types running around. Give me Jamey Johnson (who wrote “Badonkadonk”, btw), Trace, the Van Zant boys, Gretchen, and their ilk anytime. What happened to pure awesome sounds like those from Charlie Robison and The Derailers and Jack Ingram?

    Where are the next Steve Earle-types, where are the next “suck it, Nashville establishment” Waylons and Willies going to come from?

    Every time Nashville goes too poppy or too bible-thump flag wave, the genre almost dies, and then some rebel like Bocephus or Waylon or Willie has to come along and save the music…again.

    Regarding this song: Rock on, Trace, you are in heavy rotation in my Hemi-powered Charger, my man.

  33. Stormy
    March 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Where are the next Steve Earle-types, where are the next “suck it, Nashville establishment” Waylons and Willies going to come from?

    Certainly not from this POS. However, we have enough Nelsons, Earles and Jennings to take care of things for a while.

  34. Fireball Roberts
    March 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I’d much rather listen to this “POS” and get a chuckle and be entertained, than listen to some sappy crap about some dude who supposesly was important and supposedly died 2,000 years ago taking the wheel from me, or some non-country poppy adult contemporary with a southern accent fluff, or some gospel BS about a long black train parading as “country” music. Give me real country. Make me laugh, make me want to party, make me want to drive fast. Stay away from the LoneSupply crap. (You know, Lonestar, country’s version of AirSupply?) Don’t need it. Don’t want it.

  35. Jon
    March 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Wow. Talk about not “getting” more than one corner of country music.

  36. Jon
    March 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    If that.

  37. Donald
    March 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    >>>>Where are the next Steve Earle-types, where are the next “suck it, Nashville establishment” Waylons and Willies going to come from?<<<<

    Rehab, perhaps. Seriously, 'the next ones' are out there…you just have to look for them.

  38. Matt B
    March 6, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Trace Adkins told a CRS crowd that he was going to be sending them a new single soon.

  39. Stormy
    March 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Why aren’t you listening to the Earles, the Nelsons and the Jennings?

  40. luckyoldsun
    March 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I have to admit this is the first time I’ve ever heard of “bow chicka bow wow.”
    I have a feeling that most listeners to country radio have never heard of it either.

  41. Fireball Roberts
    March 7, 2011 at 8:36 am

    “Why aren’t you listening to the Earles, the Nelsons and the Jennings?”

    A. No radio stations are playing them, consultants have turned country into elevator-music, AC-leaning schlock with teeny tiny playlists from a teeny tiny list of acceptable artists.

    B. Because of said consultants, the newer acts who COULD be the Earles, Nelsons and Jennings aren’t getting that precious airplay.

    C. When there are the remote few “classic country” stations to tune into, they don’t play them either, instead focusing on the stuff that nearly killed the format in the first place: Gayle, Mandrell, Greenwood, etc.

    D. That all being said, I DO listen to those acts. But I also like new music once in awhile. You may not be aware, but Waylon ain’t puttin’ out anything new, if ya know what I mean.

  42. Fireball Roberts
    March 7, 2011 at 8:42 am

    “Wow. Talk about not “getting” more than one corner of country music.”

    Oh, I “get” country music. More than you know. I like a steel-laden ballad that’s done right. I like a banjo…when done right. I even will listen to twin fiddles…when done right. And believe it or not, there are even flag-wavers that I will listen to with pride. But not ones that are simply jingoistic. For instance, inserting soldiers into videos just to scam a few extra bucks out of ignorant dolts is appalling to me.

    Likewise, throwing some gratuitious religion, when I know some of the people who put out these very songs are so hypocritical in their own lives it’s hilarious, just makes me gag.

    Look up how many wives Lee Greenwood had, then explain to me why he’d be invited to a GOP convention focused on “Family Values”. So he could sing that one sickeningly over-the-top song? Gimme a break.

    Waylon left Nashville because of crap like this. Willie and Tompall Glaser and Jerry Jeff Walker and many like them did the same. I like the guys who listen to the beat of a different drummer. But just because I say that doesn’t mean I don’t “get” country music, because I most certainly do.

  43. Stormy
    March 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

    You do realize that Willie and two of his kids, Steve and Justin Earle and Shooter Jennings are actively making music, right?

  44. Fireball Roberts
    March 7, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Um, duh. I’ve got ‘em all. But tell me this…when was the last time your favorite local country station played something by Shooter? Or Justin? Yeah. Exactly. Can’t put that on when Underwood or Flatts has a new piece of fluff available, now can we?

  45. Miss Leslie
    March 7, 2011 at 9:51 am

    >>>>Where are the next Steve Earle-types, where are the next “suck it, Nashville establishment” Waylons and Willies going to come from?<<<>>Rehab, perhaps. Seriously, ‘the next ones’ are out there…you just have to look for them.<<<

    Donald – Amen.

    Fireball Roberts – who cares about local country stations? That's SO 90s.

    NPR had a piece on indy music leading grammy noms:

    Yeah, commercial success is still dictated by mainstream radio, but what I get from the article and the times we live in is that music is everywhere and it just doesn't matter anymore whether it's top of the charts.

  46. Fireball Roberts
    March 7, 2011 at 10:13 am

    “Fireball Roberts – who cares about local country stations? That’s SO 90s.”

    Unfortunately, you are correct, thanks to consultants, most “local” country radio stations are exactly the opposite of that.

    Local radio is what I do. Local radio has survived every attack…TV, video, internet, satellite radio(which will go away quietly and do so very soon), local radio still has the POTENTIAL to dominate the location they reside. But, as I said, unfortunately a few…and it really is just a few…consultants aided by a select few…and it really is a few…radio ownership groups, who are supposed to HELP local radio are KILLING local radio.

    Owners: Bean counters who increasingly drop local shows to save money, picking up either satellite shows for barter or letting a far-away consultant program their music to the same cookie-cutter playlist said consultant uses everywhere else.

    Consultants: Most are former “Top 40″ radio consultants who’ve gotten too old to understand that format, so they bring their tiny-playlist, overly-safe, overly-vanilla ideas to our format and f it up.

    Want to hear a REAL country radio station, try to find one that is actually programmed for the city it’s in, instead of one that’s consulted. In other words, if the owner is listed as “Clear Channel” or “Cumulus”, stay away.

  47. Fireball Roberts
    March 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

    And Donald, you have a problem with those in rehab? If you do, you’d be real surprised to know the current “mainstream” radio-friendly, wear-my-christianity-on-my-sleeve singers who have spent time in “rehab”.

    A little primer: If someone in country music has recently had “throat surgery” or had to go on a long rest from touring due to “vocal cord stress and exhaustion” that’s usually a pretty good sign that Betty Ford had a visitor.

  48. butter
    March 8, 2011 at 11:07 am

    i don’t think trace should have to apologize to anyone…music means something different to everybody…and if you don’t like it…don’t play it!!…but ripping him is more a statement about yourself..than this song

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