Messing around in the archives of Lone Star Music, I came up on this Jason Boland interview from some time ago. Key snippet:
What were you listening to back then?
Well, you know, growing up, you just listen to whatever your dad listened to — Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, and some folk music, and then just whatever was on the radio. And as far as more modern country, the things that really interested me … I liked Clint Black’s early stuff, a lot of that was great. Those were some of the country albums from my generation that really blew me away. And then of course I listened to rock, too: Pantera, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden.
Wait, what? The guy who did songs like “Pearl Snaps” and “Hank” listened to the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden? Huh. Now, I know those hard country songs are not all Boland does — see, among others, “Green Screen,” “It’s Alright to be an Asshole,” ” and “Thunderbird Wine,” and those not-so-country influences come through rather loudly. But even towards the end of that latter number, they throw in a wailing fiddle solo that’d make Bob Wills proud.
I know I keep coming back to that, but I think it’s probably at the root of my gripes with mainstream country. “We didn’t grow up listening to just country music!” Well, if a traditional country standard-bearer like Jason Boland can come of age listening to fucking Judas Priest and Pantera, then Luke Bryan and Florida-Georgia Line don’t have any excuse — unless, of course, they’re just lying to us all about having listened to any country music growing up. Which is a distinct possibility.
You know that I scoff at certain people’s nostalgia for ’90s country as some sort of golden age, and I know he’s a laughingstock to a lot of people now, but I can’t deny that Doug Supernaw’s debut album, Red and Rio Grande, was one of the most underrated albums of that time period. It did spawn a No. 1 hit with “I Don’t Call Him Daddy,” but there was a lot more to it than that, including covers of Keith Whitley (“I Would Have Loved You All Night Long”) and Dan Seals (“Five Generations of Rock County Wilsons”). And I have no idea how I only now came to recognize the meta brilliance of the honky-tonk shuffle “You’re Gonna Bring Back Cheatin’ Songs” — a cheating song that talks about the cheater’s actions boosting their popularity, whaaat?
But there’s a reason I got this album on both cassette and cd — and now mp3 — and it’s this song right here: