Thursday, July 26, 2012

A biased song review: Bucky Covington and Shooter Jennings, "Drinking Side of Country" (at iTunes now!)

Bucky Covington and Shooter Jennings sound great in this crystal clear audio-only clip of "Drinking Side of Country"--thanks to for posting it at YouTube.  (For the full-on, wild-ride "Dukes of Hazzard"-inspired music video featuring Kellie Pickler, Mickie JamesKenny Bartram and lots of Daisy Duke wearing beauties, head on over to YouTube and/or Bucky's September 2012 album, Good Guys, is available for pre-order at Amazon, and the single is available at iTunes now.

Well, it's safe to say we're not on Lyric Street any more!

Bucky Covington's three big hits with his former label, the Disney-owned Lyric Street Records, were a trio made up of a beautifully nostalgic mid-tempo toe-tapper ("A Different World"), a fast-paced, exhilarating love song ("It's Good to Be Us"), and a sensitive, heart-tugging ballad ("I'll Walk"). We truly loved them all--still do!--but Bucky's longtime fans knew he'd also handle a thumpin' Southern country party anthem brilliantly.  Many of us hoped that "Bible and the Belt", a strong and gritty cut from his debut album Bucky Covington, would be his fourth Lyric Street single.  During the long delay between albums, new songs, presumably from what would have been Bucky's sophomore Lyric Street CD, were added to his live set, and the gratifyingly rowdy "Evel Knievel"  became a sing-along concert favorite, but as far as we know it was never released to radio on its own. 

Folks, we finally--finally--got our Bucky Covington Southern country party anthem single right here, and it's more than we could have asked for (and to be a little politically incorrect, it's much more than I suspect Lyric Street would have let us enjoy.)  "Drinking Side of Country" was written by Bucky with his longtime co-writers Rocky Covington and Ducky Medlock, it was produced by Bucky, and it features the distinctive vocals of the awesome (not gonna lie)  Shooter Jennings, who certainly knows a thing or two about the joys of calling one's own artistic shots.

Lyrically, "Drinking Side of Country" does indeed cover some familiar party song territory (no-strings-attached affection and plenty-of-strings-attached trouble are easy to find when one is a traveling musician--yep) but it does so with humor, sly charm and the unmistakable ring of authenticity.  You don't doubt that these guys have lived--and laughed at--much of what they're singing about,  and that alone allows it to transcend the "laundry list" accusations that some might lob.  And musically...well, let's talk about that hook.  (You're singing it in your head right now, aren't you? "We roll, we roll, we roll...on down the highway..." Catchy?  You bet. )

Needless to say, I'm enjoying this a lot.  If you've been here since the beginning of Buckymania, when one of Bucky's self-penned songs, "Can't Be Wrong", made us all aware that there was a lot more to him than Idol-sanctioned covers, you're doubly happy about his fall single being one of his own co-written compositions.  "Drinking Side of Country" may also be the most polarizing single Bucky's released to date, and even that's a good thing, if you think about it--sometimes trying to please everyone makes an artist ultimately displeased with himself.  Bucky is who he is--the straightforward, talented guy who can bring a tear to your eye with "I'll Walk" and bring a knowing smile to your face with "Drinking Side of Country"--and that's one of the many reasons we dig him so much.

We can't wrap this up without saying a word or two about the already semi-controversial video directed by Blake Judd, which is nothing like any music video Bucky's done before.  Bucky, unlike many of the male singers who we came to know via a certain TV show, has the advantage of a strong fan base from both sexes, and this particular video is definitely one for the guys.  There are those who'll miss the prominent shot of paintballs in the back seat of the car, and those who'll miss the point that the whole thing is an affectionate spoof of the "Dukes of Hazzard" aesthetic rather than a literal Design for Living.  But nobody, and I mean nobody, is going to fail to notice the overabundance of gorgeous babes, or the sexy cameos by Kellie Pickler and Mickie James.  It's caused quite a buzz already, and it's been linked from the front page of Yahoo--a big advantage for a brand new single.

Bottom line: "Drinking Side of Country" is a smart and worthy follow-up to the lovely, romantic "I Wanna Be That Feeling", and it shows off a funny, rowdy, endearing side of Bucky's musical personality.  He's a versatile performer, and the two very different, very cool songs already released from his upcoming Good Guys album underscore that point beautifully.  We're looking forward to a fantastic fall!--W

Pre-order Bucky's upcoming eOne album, Good Guys, at Amazon now.  "Drinking Side of Country" is now available at iTunes.


  1. Anonymous4:18 PM

    Loved your review of DSOC!!

  2. Thanks, Anon! It's a new direction for Bucky, and I'm hoping it'll be a big, big hit. :)

  3. Anonymous8:32 PM

    We are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy! I hope it does great and people do understand the spoof. If Carrie Underwood can get away with some of her personas in her videos, why not... I guess?

  4. Hi! I'm with you on hoping it does great--so far, so good! Gotta think and hope the vast majority of folks will get that the video is an homage to a TV comedy most of us grew up with (or caught on reruns) and loved--i.e., not to be taken too seriously or literally, much like the original "Dukes".) I think this catchy song will do very well on radio, too, even among those who don't see the video--smart of Bucky to shake up people's perceptions just a little bit. Thanks for stopping by!