Whether you like what he’s throwing down, or you think he’s a foul-mouthed yob, there’s no denying that Wheeler Walker Jr. has become nothing short of a country music phenomenon, with continued strong album sales, high streaming numbers if from nothing else than a curiosity factor, and even some unexpected recognition from mainstream artists who’ve decided to have a little fun with the filthy country singer as opposed to being offended by him.
But that’s not the case with certain members of the media, especially when it comes to alternative papers owned by The Village Voice like The Houston Press and LA Weekly; both of whom have gone after Walker recently, with Walker responding in kind with swear word-riddled responses that have done nothing but strengthened the singer’s fervent fan base and swelled its numbers.
Amy McCarthy writing for The Houston Press (who Saving Country Music has had its own run-in’s with), has been a staunch opponent of Walker, but seems to be missing the underlying point, which ultimately means the joke’s on her. Now L.A. Weekly’s Nicholas Pell has also brought the poison pen against Walker ahead of an upcoming tour appearance in L.A. by Walker.
“…all of this would be forgivable were the music actually good,” says Pell of the Dave Cobb-produced record. “It’s not. It sounds like it was generated by the CountryTron 6000 by turning the Bro County knob down a few notches and turning the Charlie Daniels knob up a few more. Hootie’s career as a country musician has more vitality.”
But once again it appears to have backfired and only brought Wheeler Walker more attention as he pounces on these opportunities on Twitter. “Hack hipster weekly writers who contribute nothing to society but writing troll-bait?” Walker responded to Nicholas Pell, among other comebacks.
Meanwhile Walker’s upcoming tour, just like his record, is selling surprisingly well. The New York and L.A. dates are heading towards a sell out, and there appears to be a genuine groundswell behind him. It’s probably not a show you’d want to take your mother to, but Wheeler Walker Jr. appears to be here to stay, so you better get used to him.