Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Look Closely

When i was a kid, i didn't like country music at all. Even now, the country i like comes from bands like drive-by truckers and drag the river rather than shania twain. Relatively speaking, i now find mainstream country to be boring and repetitive. Every now and then, though, i heard a country song growing up that caught my attention.

First, let me say that i can't name another song by the charlie daniels band. Likely this is because country was part and parcel of growing up in the south. You couldn't spit on the sidewalk without hitting cowboy boots or a giant belt buckle. I resisted this, and it was probably my earliest stab at nonconformity. Now it just seems like good sense, considering where country music has gone in the last 25 years.

Georgia, naturally, loved this song. I was no exception. Never had i heard anything quite like it. Without getting too deep, it was a profoundly disturbing song. Every chord sounded like something the devil would play if he were looking for a soul to steal. Doing his best to counter, 'johnny' played a hoedown as though his life depended on it, and it did (or at least his soul). Never mind that he was fiddling against the devil himself; a gold fiddle would sound awful, though that was beside the point. Every note conveyed good against evil. Struggling against satan never sounded so good. Damnation was the penalty for failure. Awesome stuff to a young kid (and still pretty cool today). You have to love this song:

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