Darius Rucker’s Take on Drivin’ N’ Cryin’s “Straight to Hell”
You complain that the songs from today’s top country stars are no good and they should start cutting songs that are halfway decent like the ones your favorite independent and underground artists play … until they attempt to do that very thing, and come across like total dork asses.
Darius Rucker did this one time before when he reprised the ubiquitous song “Wagon Wheel” originally performed by Old Crow Medicine Show and took it all the way to #1 on the charts, then to the Grammy Awards, and on to triple platinum status. Now he digs even deeper to unearth Drivin’ N’ Cryin’s “Straight to Hell” of all things, and since there were four horsemen in the story of the Apocolypse, enlists Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum to join him.
If you’ve never heard of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ before, or if you have by had no idea they ever did anything resembling country music, don’t feel too bad. Aside from the moderate success for their their 1991 hair metal album Fly Me Courageous and the semi hit of the same name, there’s no real reason you would. But over the last few years, the band has somehow fallen under the always-nebulous definition of “Americana,” in part due to the lead guitar position in the band employing at various times Sadler Vaden of Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit fame, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and Laur Joamets currently, who became a big name playing beside Sturgill Simpson.
Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is mainly the story of lead man Kevn Kinney who has become a revered character in east Nashville. “Straight to Hell” is a song that was first released in 1989 on the album Mystery Road before the band got big. Over the years the song has become a staple of the band’s live set, and often the show ender, stretching out sometimes 7 to 8 minutes, and evolving into a singalong.
According to Darius Rucker, he’s been wanting to record the song since 1989, and it was a phone call from Charles Kelley that finally convinced him to do so. And now a 30-year-old song from a band with 30K likes on their Facebook page has a song climbing the mainstream country radio charts performed by four of the most popular pop country artists of the era.
There are all manner of reasons to hate everything about this song and collaboration. If you know this song and Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, the last thing you want to see is Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan braying along to it. Their whole Highwaymen-looking shtick is just about unbearable to behold. And maybe you even have some moral objections about the premise of accepting your fate of eternal damnation with such beer stein-swinging zeal that’s behind this song.
All of these things are fair points. In these polarized musical times, lightning rod personalities like Luke Bryan can create non starters for the enjoyment of anything, even songs that are better than “Straight to Hell.” But taking all predispositions and placing them on a shelf, this version of “Straight top Hell” is harmless at worst. It’s a country song, with a country beat and predominant fiddle parts.
Darius Rucker struck gold with “Wagon Wheel,” and he’s heading down that same mineshaft with another drunk singalong. I have no idea why the song was overloaded with face talent. It frankly hurts its chances for anything but those pre-telecast “Vocal Collaboration of the Year” trophies the industry gives out and nobody pays attention to anyway. So many names makes the song feel busy, and distracts from the vibe it’s trying to convey.
But this is fairly mindless and fun frap, even if the original Drivin’ N’ Cryin composition had a deeper meaning than it’s given credit for. This rendition is also further evidence that Music Row at the moment is suffering from a heroic dearth of ideas. We have Darius & Friends dressing up like the guys from Young Guns, and Florida Georgia Line running around in suspenders and vests, cutting a song that sounds like a rehash of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s. Somewhere out in the suburbs, some jarheads are popping their tailgates down and sucking on corporate beer, wondering where all the songs about sitting on a tailgates and sucking on corporate beer have gone.
Yes, this would have been much cooler if Kevn Kinney had paired up with Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, and Cody Jinks to do something like this. But here we are, and this is a hell of a lot better than most of what’s on country radio. If not else, at least Kevn Kinney will get paid.
So you know, whatever. Let these guys play dress up. The whole thing is incredibly weird. But at least it’s not as bad as it could have been I guess. To be honest, I have no clue what to make of any of this.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:38 am
Not horrible but not near as good as Cory Morrow did 16 years ago.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:01 am
Cory Morrows version is what should be playing. Hardworking Americans covered this as well a couple years back.
Not sure why they need 4 clowns to play dress up. Ive never understood these over the top collaborations. But then again, I dont understand mainstream.
July 5, 2018 @ 7:26 am
Because they’re clowns.
July 5, 2018 @ 7:25 am
Hootie and the Douchebags
July 6, 2018 @ 11:39 am
Best comment I’ve seen this week. This … is …. terrible. Straight to Hell is a staple of Southern Rock and Country Cover bands, and any of them on any given day do a better job.
A Lea Turner
March 31, 2023 @ 6:12 pm
A lot of the folks who appreciate Drivin’n Cryin’ don’t enjoy Facebook. Hence the few likes, lol.
A Lea Turner
March 31, 2023 @ 6:06 pm
Enjoyed reading your article and the fact that you wrote it, bringing attention to Drivin’ n Cryin’. As an Atlanta, Georgia native, this is one of those songs that we do not find as obscure as everyone else seems to. When called Americana, I guess I can understand that label. But we have always thought of Drivin’ n Cryin’ as one of the few Southern Rock Bands in existence. Yes, I know Kinney is originally from Milwaukee.. but he moved to Atlanta and created what I would call an 80’s or 90’s take on Southern Rock. It cracks me up when people say things like, ‘Who would have thought they ever did anything that closely resembled country?’, because that’s what Southern Rock is. I am not saying every song they sing sounds Southern Rock or country, but you could at least call them a Southern Rock – Americana. It is a shame that Drivin n Cryin didn’t get as much attention as The Black Crowes because in many ways they were just as good. Before becoming an East Nashville sensation, they were huge in Georgia, the southeast, and especially in Atlanta and Athens. I do think it’s odd that anyone who is into country music and from the south at the same time doesn’t know who DnC are or that this was one of their biggest songs. Yeah, the whole cheesy prohibition era bar schtick kills me. It’s like, Hootie, did you not listen to the words that were rolling off your tongue? ‘And I kept falling like a Rolling Stones song.’. Yeah, Mick and Kieth are ancient, but a little misplaced there … Drivin’ n Cryin’ was my middle school and high school companion. I do like Darius and appreciate the fact he can recognize a good song. It doesn’t sound awful but it definitely doesn’t do the song iustce.
A Lea Turner
March 31, 2023 @ 9:38 pm
Okay … After a little more thought I get it. They’re singing it as a drinking song. So it doesn’t really matter that the prohibition era / bar schtick is going on. I get it. Still, it holds up. Nothing like the original though. No offense to Darius. He’s a great singer and performer.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:42 am
Hank 3 did it better…
July 3, 2018 @ 11:09 am
every thing hank 3 does is better than any of those knee highs
A Lea Turner
March 31, 2023 @ 9:40 pm
Was that the same song? There are a lot of songs with this or similar titles.
A Lea Turner
March 31, 2023 @ 10:23 pm
Hey Wendy – the song Hank III did was a completely different song than this. Totally different lyrics. Did you listen to this one?
April 1, 2023 @ 4:33 am
I did and it was a joke apparently it went over your head. And this was 5 years ago!
A Lea Turner
April 1, 2023 @ 12:03 pm
Wasn’t even replying to you – was replying to a Wendy. Unless you changed your name from Wendy to Rusty? But okay, whatever. Who cares if it was 5 years ago. I just came across this article now. Jokes are usually funny.
April 1, 2023 @ 1:55 pm
Well 5 years ago 12 folks here got what I was saying. And yes i put my name was Wendy this day I remember this day especially because I was sitting in the local Wendy’s eating lunch before work and it was raining.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:50 am
Please post Kevin’s version under this, it’s so good. He’ll if you can’t post that post todd snider version.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:55 am
July 3, 2018 @ 9:05 am
The comparison makes the cover sound much worse. There’s no gravitas in the cover version.
July 4, 2018 @ 5:51 pm
Wow! The original is sung with feeling and meaning, while the Blowfish version is just a bunch of happy guys in a singalong.
A Lea Turner
April 1, 2023 @ 3:55 pm
Dave’s singles are great. Doubles are even better.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:53 am
That photo is rich.
Darius is mining deep here.
D n C with Laur Joamets on lead guitar is a force now.
Saw em earlier this year and he’s a bonafide rock star since he left Sturgill, Ruckers band not so much imho.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:22 am
D n C?
July 3, 2018 @ 11:26 am
Drivin’ n Cryin’
July 3, 2018 @ 8:57 am
Can’t be Todd Snider and the Hard Working Americans version of this song. These turd’s version is garbage.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:02 am
There is a version on YouTube of the Hard Working Americans with Jason Isbell. I highly recommend checking it out.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:59 am
hey Trigger. Check out honeysuckle blue. Not a bad song by DNC.
July 4, 2018 @ 5:25 pm
Honeysuckle Blue has one of my favorite riffs of all time.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:00 am
It’s not bad, but I agree totally with the idea that there was no reason to have so many people on this. I think it would have even worked much better with just Darius Rucker. One thing about him is that he for the most part releases harmless pop country songs, but he has a hell of a voice and when it is actually used on good songs, it is really good.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:02 am
Darius has a good voice, even though I don’t care for many of his songs. The comparison when the rest of the group chimes in is…not good. Better this, I guess, than another POS song featuring a fading/marginal rapper or pop singer. 5 out of 10 Yawns.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:04 am
“According to Darius Rucker, he’s been wanting to record the song since 1989, and it was a phone call from Charles Kelley that finally convinced him to do so. And now a 30-year-old song from a 90’s hair metal band with 30K likes on their Facebook page has a song climbing the mainstream country radio charts performed by four of the most popular pop country artists of the era.”
A 90’s hair metal band? I always considered Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ a Southern Rock band, and a damn good one at that. Mystery Road remains one of my favorite albums and the song “Honeysuckle Blue” off that record is a Southern Rock classic IMO.
As to this effort, if it draws some well deserved attention to Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ that’s fine by me, there is much worse on country radio these days.
I’ll take this over the cheap guitar riff rip offs done by Jake Owen on “Jack and Diane” and the even more sacrilegious abomination by Keith Urban of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”.
July 5, 2018 @ 11:57 am
Thanks for pointing out the hair band thing. Growing up in Atlanta and Athens, GA, I listened to them often in HS and college and never would have called them a hair band. Definitely southern rock, particularly Mystery Road, which is just fantastic. I wore that cassette tape out.
Darius Rucker, while certainly not my top genre of country, is a peculiar guilty pleasure of mine, but this cover sounds just plain awful.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:10 am
This one actually stings a little more. I damn near lived this song for quite a few years. Part of it is Hootie doing it. It’s like “man, get an original thought.” He already has made it genuinely more difficult to listen to Old Crow’s Wagon Wheel, and now I am hoping he doesn’t ruin this. Secondly, it’s so blatantly not the life he’s ever lived, or could ever understand, it just seems fake. Same with the other yay-Hoooos. Those guys are just posers. I don’t get mad at Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean when they stay in their lane, but c’mon. Maybe I’m being a little over the top about this, but it just sucks.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:21 am
Just to be clear, Kevin Kinney may be revered in East Nashville, but Drivin N’ Cryin’ is an Atlanta band. Rucker is talented and I am glad the song is getting some attention, but I wish he would have teamed up with some other folks. 90’s Hair Metal…..nope.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:47 am
Sorry, “Fly Me Courageous” was completely hair metal. I appreciate that Drivin’ N’ Cryin has become much more to many fans in Southern rock and Americana, but to many out there in the hinterlands, 90’s hair metal is their frame of reference to Drivin’ N’ Cryin.
This is their biggest song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6kplh51lPg
Part of what is making this entire experience so weird is because to some, “Straight to Hell” will always be a Cory Morrow song. To others, it’s a “Hard Working Americans” song. Still others, it’s a Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ song, and seeing Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean sing it is such an incredible clashing of two worlds, it defies description. And just like “Wagon Wheel,” the likelihood is that ultimately it will be known as a Darius Rucker song, who’s a washed-up 90’s star himself who now is a big name in mainstream country.
Personally, I am completely stupefied by this whole thing, and can’t put it in any frame of reference.
July 3, 2018 @ 10:07 am
Maybe it’s all a matter of semantics, but I have never once thought of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ as a hair metal band. “Fly Me Courageous” has a Neil Young “Rockin in the Free World” feel to me, especially considering the lyrical content of both songs.
Not a big deal I suppose, but I just kind of cringe seeing Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ lumped in the same genre as Warrant or Twisted Sister.
July 3, 2018 @ 11:42 am
From that video and the opening riff I’m getting more of a Stoner Rock and Glam Rock vibe.
July 3, 2018 @ 11:50 am
I’ve never thought of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ as a hair metal band. If the video is used as proof, I’d call this more Athens, GA dress code violators than hair metal. I just never thought of them in the same crap pile as Cinderella.
I will say this – that’s the weakest version of Straight to Hell I’ve heard, and that’s going to be the one that gets radio airplay? Idiots.
The Original WTF Guy
July 3, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
Not even close to hair metal. I discovered Drivin’ N’ Cryin around the same time I did the Black Crowes and always equated the bands. Lot more similarities there than with Warrant, Winger, Skid Row, or any of that ilk.
July 3, 2018 @ 7:59 pm
I’m not calling Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ a hair metal band. I was simply pointing out that to many, the point of reference they have with a band is of then their moment of greatest commercial success. For Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, that is 1991 and “Fly Me Courageous.” And I’m sorry, but that’s hair metal, WAY more similar to Warrant and Winger than The Black Crowes. I’m not saying calling them a hair metal band is a fair form of reference for their entire output. But if you’re a casual music fan, like most of the people who will listen to the radio and will hear this Darius Rucker song, then when they hear the name Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, early 90’s hair metal is probably what’s going to come to mind. If they go to YouTube or Wikipedia, that’s also what will stand out to them the most.
As another example, when I posted the article to Twitter, I had multiple people tell me “Straight to Hell” will always be a Cory Morrow song to them. They don’t even know who Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is. Personally, I had no clue Cory Morrow ever covered it.
I’m simply trying to frame people’s perceptions. Perhaps I could have explained this better, but I had already spent a bunch of this review talking about Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, and didn’t want to bog on the subject.
Ultimately, the whole story of what Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is and why they’re important probably deserves its own post.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:19 pm
Been listening to DNC since forever, seen live, the whole shebang. You’re wrong about the whole hair metal thing. Whether you’re talking about the band or song, both are far off. Closer to Warrant than Black Crowes? You’re a fantastic writer and music tastemaker, but that’s just bizarre.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:46 pm
“Been listening to DNC since forever, seen live, the whole shebang. You’re wrong about the whole hair metal thing.”
You just answered your own question.
I’m telling you, to many, fair or not, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is referenced in their memories as an early 90’s hair or glam metal band. Just like to many, “Straight To Hell” is a Cory Morrow song, or a Hard Working Americans song, or a Hank3 song. What I’m trying to underscore here is the diaspora of perceptions about this band, and this song.
And I’m sorry, but “Fly Me Courageous” is totally hair or glam metal.
July 3, 2018 @ 11:12 pm
Look, I don’t want to come across as a douchebag. I’m glad folks are clarifying that Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ is much more than a “hair metal band.” I just think it’s it’s fair to point out that’s how some perceive them. Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ deserves its own discussion.
womp womp man
July 5, 2018 @ 10:59 am
No one ever called DnC a hair metal band. They have never written a metal song or wore spandex in their videos. I worked one of their shows at the peak of their popularity in 1991. They are southern rock all day & if you want people to take this seriously stop doubling down on this.
July 5, 2018 @ 1:13 pm
I never called them a hair metal band. Nor did I double down on calling them a hair metal band. Folks are being “triggered” by this idea, and not really reading what I said, or the subsequent clarifications. What I said was, and I quote:
“Aside from the moderate success for their their 1991 hair metal album Fly Me Courageous and the semi hit of the same name, there’s no real reason you would.”
This was in the context of a MAINSTREAM POP COUNTRY FAN happening upon a band like Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ and reaching out for the only frame of reference to them, which happens to be a song that veers pretty close to hair metal. I completely agree with you they’re not a hair metal band. The way the reference to “hair metal” was made was in the context of a misinformed fan. You can scream at me all day and say I’m misinformed for calling Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ a hair metal band, but you’re never going to get anywhere because ultimately I agree.
July 6, 2018 @ 9:15 am
Maybe you are getting your albums mixed up. Drivin’ N’ Cryin’s Smoke album is more of a “hair metal” than the Fly Me Courageous album. I think “Smoke” was even played on Headbanger’s Ball a couple of times.
As for Rucker’s cover, I’ll pass.
July 5, 2018 @ 12:04 pm
I think it’s a product of Drivin’ n Cryin’ being really a local band to Atlanta and Athens, GA. Those like me who grew up listening to them in the area would not call them a hair band at all. Fly Me Courageous is probably their most well-known album nationwide and it is not very indicative of their overall, or best, work. Which is probably why folks who did not know “Straight to Hell” was originally released by them would equate them differently than those who would know more of their body of work. Thus, the false assumption that they’re a hair band. Not that big of a deal. Plenty of bands get local play that I’ve never heard.
We can all agree that this cover is crap. Corey Morrow’s is great and catches its spirit well.
July 5, 2018 @ 7:32 am
That one song & the accompanying video were “hair metal,” but that was mainly to satisfy Tim Nielson, who was “country-ed out” after Mystery Road.
Drivin ‘n’ Cryin has always been a punk band with country & folk sensibilities. Watch the documentary “Scarred But Smarter” on Amazon sometime.
None of which should distract us from the fact that those four morons are scourges on the American culture and appeal to only low-IQ morons.
July 4, 2018 @ 7:09 am
I am old enough to remember when this song was popular by driving ‘n crying. In my mind, I always considered it a Southern rock song. In fact, I have it in my iTunes library and the only one of my personally curated playlists that it appears on is my modern southern rock playlist (by modern, I mean songs from the late 80s on, not my playlist that contains the classic southern rock songs from the 70s and very early 80s). …and it follows right after God Damn Lonely Love Song by Jason Isabel and the DBTs!
July 3, 2018 @ 9:26 am
I at least give Darius credit for playing Wagon Wheel at the beginning, so everyone knows he’s hopes lightning strikes twice.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:44 am
The distinctive vulnerability of Kinney’s voice is essential to the original song, making this glib jokey cover even more brutal to endure.
July 3, 2018 @ 9:47 am
The new version really sands off the edges of the original. And having four singers diffuses the singular narrative. I find it mildly offensive. If you can’t add a unique twist or just make a better version, why bother? Oh wait, this gives Darius a new song to sing at the Opry and his concerts.
July 3, 2018 @ 10:03 am
WTF happened to Hootie? I work in Country radio and everything his country incarnation has released has been mediocre at best. His reinvention of himself has been commercially successful I guess but the quality of his music has greatly decreased as a result. And he and those other guys look like they just suited up for a picture at the “old time” photo booth at the fair. Gimme a break dudes!
July 3, 2018 @ 10:10 am
Sounds like a hit. Between all the Nash-pop songs “Straight To Hell” will give “country” radio a different-sounding track.
Darius Rucker lost a lot of (chart-)steam. His current album is not selling well & his last singles took month after month to climb to the Top 10. Having the names of Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean on the cover will help too (oh…i forgot the Lady A guy).
Looking at the numbers…it might be his last big hit.
July 3, 2018 @ 10:23 am
The video is like a hilarious characature of these clowns’ musical careers:
-commit country music fraud
-get away with it
-take the money and run while the place comes down around them
-laugh all the way to the bank
July 3, 2018 @ 10:23 am
What. in. the. hell.
“Their whole Highwaymen-looking shtick is just about unbearable to behold.”
I LOL’d. Luke Bryan?!?! (falling down laughing)
July 3, 2018 @ 10:39 am
If you really want to feel bad about this, go over to the YouTube page and read the comments. Shit, we’re in trouble!
July 6, 2018 @ 7:16 am
YouTube comments are like entering another dimension of the world where you didn’t know those people existed and now that you know, you never want to go back there again.
A Lea Turner
March 31, 2023 @ 10:15 pm
I’ve read through most of these comments now ( after making my own comments ). At first I was really hard on Darius and these guys, but the more I thought about it, I think I understand better what he was trying to do with song. He was doing it as a ballad type drinking song. Like how a lot of county songs tell stories. It was just a different take on it. I mean, a lot of drinking songs or folk songs are actually dark or serious but then become traditional songs or drinking songs. I can kind of see what he was doing. He’s like, I can change this up a little how people do with songs a lot. Just telling the story and having a good time. When I look at it like that, and I think about the article I understand the point you were trying to get across. It’s not easy to write a great country song. The really good ones are often very sad or too serious to have fun to. He wasn’t trying to make a mockery of it but he was going for a fun good times country song that doesn’t depress the hell out of you. And Kinney did end the song on a lighter note – it isn’t a super dark and serious song altogether. So I believe I was too hard on him. That said, DnC fans of course would be disappointed to see one of their fave songs they grew up with to be changed in this way. And I am a fan. As for the hair metal comment and responses to it … I think that it’s a semantics issue. I believe what the author was attempting to say is that many might have thought they were an 80’s/early 90’s rock band. Probably a lot of folks who did not know them or their discography very well. I believe , if anything other than Southern Rock or Americana, or just rock, they could be considered somewhat eclectic or crossover. Some would even say somewhat college rock. Not all bands can be characterized as a specific genre and for that reason sometimes have difficulty with airplay on certain stations or becoming mainstream, which is not the goal of a lot of bands anyway. Whatever the case, Rucker just made them a lot of money off this cover and also got them a lot of attention and very well got them some country music fans who were unaware of the prior. Labels can he problematic but yeah, I always considered them a modern Southern Rock band or popular southern college rock. Basically, I would just give them the label rock band. Because there are so many styles of rock. Rock itself was an amalgamation of so many genres of music – which is why it’s always been so hard to categorize as so much of it overlaps. As far as a country western drinking song you can enjoy and have a sing-along to, at least the lyrics are a lot more interesting than some. Of course I will always prefer DnC to it but if anything more people have heard them now which is great.
July 3, 2018 @ 11:06 am
What a merry band of jackasses.
July 3, 2018 @ 11:09 am
If I did not value my life the crap that is going on in Country music like this makes me want to take my 9mm Beretta place it to my head and maybe I could escape the horror!
July 3, 2018 @ 6:35 pm
A real cowboy would have the decency to honor Independence Day by using a firearm that isn’t measured in millimeters… 😛
July 4, 2018 @ 9:20 am
10 mm is best millimeter
Fat Freddy's Cat
July 3, 2018 @ 11:31 am
I had never heard of Drivin’ and Cryin’ but I did like Kevin Kinney’s album Broken Hearts and Auto Parts.
July 3, 2018 @ 11:35 am
not gonna lie, it’s slightly surreal to hear these cats play a song by a band that i saw open for the Ramones in 1994 right after I moved to Atlanta from Indiana. I hope Kevin Kinney gets paid big for this. It seems like I remember hearing something about him hitting some hard times a few years back.
July 3, 2018 @ 11:56 am
Lyrically a strange song for those four to be covering. Put they essentially turned it into a frat boy sing along where the meaning of the lyrics become irrelevant.
July 3, 2018 @ 12:15 pm
I’ll take your word for it on the cover. :p Love the original, though; the first Drivin’ ‘n’ Cryin’ song I heard was “Scarred But Smarter” several years ago on Internet radio, and soon after that I checked out some of their other stuff.
July 3, 2018 @ 12:35 pm
I don’t think any of these guys knows what this song means or is about, and neither will the masses as they use it as a mindless singalong. Perhaps a few will catch on.
July 4, 2018 @ 6:10 pm
I’m baffled by this. The original is powerful in meaning and delivery. This Hootie version is a complete misinterpretation by the singers and director. Stunning in what they’ve thrown away and stepped on.
And today is the first time I heard either version, so it’s not like someone is taking away some precious memories of mine.
Dirt Road Derek
July 3, 2018 @ 12:19 pm
I’m a fan of Rucker and I really like this cover, with the exception of Kelley’s vocal which sounds odd in the mix, as if he recorded it on a different or lower quality microphone than the rest of the guys.
It’s not going to change the minds of old school traditionalists, but it gets my foot tapping and I’m never bummed to hear Rucker’s voice breaking up the monotomy of current country radio.
July 5, 2018 @ 7:34 am
If he’s making “music” with the likes of Bryan and Aldean, he IS the monotony of country radio.
He made shitty pop music in the early 90s, and hasn’t had an original thought since.
Dirt Road Derek
July 5, 2018 @ 7:56 am
I’m a big fan of Luke Bryan and Aldean, as well. The Farm Tour EP is definitely my favorite Bryan album, and with exception of his hip-hop experiments Aldean is harmless fun.
I prefer to reserve the “shitty pop” categorization for artists like Brandon Ray and AJ McLean. I may be pushing 50, but I’m not ready to join the ranks of the grumpy old men who cry foul at any country artist that doesn’t sound like a Roy Acuff clone. I can enjoy my Wille, Waylon, Hank, Bryan, Rucker, Brooks, and Lambert all the same. And I throw in a little Cannibal Corpse and Slayer just to keep things interesting 😉
July 5, 2018 @ 9:38 am
Aldean and Bryan make shitty pop music for people with no brains or taste.
I’m 52. Don’t like Roy Acuff. I like people who write songs with depth.
Jason Aldean should be handed over to ISIS.
Dirt Road Derek
July 5, 2018 @ 10:17 am
My last mri confirmed I do have a brain, and lunch I just ate confirmed my sense of taste is fully intact.
Country music forums are no different than metal forums. Each has their share of foul mouthed douchebags who put themselves on a pedestal, although it’s typically teenage and twenty-something boys. But I guess not all of us can age gracefully.
July 3, 2018 @ 12:49 pm
I don’t care what anyone says. When I hear Darius Rucker, I think Hootie and the Blowfish. He’s not a bad singer; just not a country singer. He’s no Gene Watson, or for you younger folks, Dale Watson.
July 3, 2018 @ 1:20 pm
This song is shit. I don’t care how old or how cool the band was that recorded it. It’s shit. It makes zero sense it has a boring melody and it’s as bad as any pop country shit on the radio today. Why all these shitty singers signed up to sing this shitty song is a mystery to me. It must be shitty advise from their shitty management and shitty labels. Don’t try to claim this song is good just because it sounds different from the shit on the radio today. There are plenty of old songs that are just as shitty as the new stuff and this song is one of them.
July 3, 2018 @ 2:04 pm
This is the best shit post I’ve read all day!
Strait Country 81
July 3, 2018 @ 5:28 pm
Your dumb as fu**!
I’ll glady take the original over whatever Sturgill or Isbell stuff you beat off to.
July 5, 2018 @ 7:39 am
Strait Country 81
July 6, 2018 @ 6:30 am
July 3, 2018 @ 8:40 pm
You nailed it Justin. this song IS shit and an insult to real songwriters
July 3, 2018 @ 1:32 pm
So from the video, this is all about these three fatcats ripping off outlaw country and laughing all the way to the bank.
July 3, 2018 @ 3:04 pm
I can’t stand Aldean. Just looking at him pisses me off.
July 3, 2018 @ 3:10 pm
At least, it wasn’t a Turnpike song.
July 3, 2018 @ 3:24 pm
At this rate 7&7 will be next from Rucker, and probably wouldn’t be a bad choice.
July 3, 2018 @ 3:25 pm
Do, you, even, grammar, ?
July 5, 2018 @ 3:30 pm
July 3, 2018 @ 3:26 pm
I have probably been reading from site for going on on two years now, first post. Why the hell not? I think this cover was awesome. I also think Luke Bryan is incredibly talented when singing actually country songs that have any depth or meaning. Have you heard any songs from his first few albums, before he sold out? Some good stuff there.
Awesome cover, only one I didn’t care for was Aldean. Never been a huge fan. But Kelley is awesome.
July 4, 2018 @ 6:16 pm
How is this awesome? It’s like singing Merle’s Mama’s Hungry Eyes as a polka. It’s tone is in complete opposition to the lyrics, rendering them meaningless.
July 5, 2018 @ 7:35 am
Name the best song Luke Bryan ever WROTE HIMSELF.
July 5, 2018 @ 8:05 am
Do I, Good Directions, and Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day are a few that come to mind. And while he didn’t write these, he did good singing them: The Car in Front of Me, You Don’t Know Jack, and Tailgate Blues are good songs.
And don’t act like just because he didn’t write every song he has sung that he is bad. The like of Alan Jackson and even George Strait cut songs they themselves didn’t write.
July 5, 2018 @ 9:43 am
Luke Bryan appeals to stupid kids. He’s a talentless hack, and calling anything he does “country music” is blasphemy.
He did a stupid song & video with FGL.
Strait & Jackson have talent. Bryan is a skeevy pervert who wears tight jeans & “sings” about finger-banging redneck skanks.
March 31, 2023 @ 8:28 pm
Five years later and no one’s noticed that Good Directions was a Billy Currington song and not a Luke Bryan song?
July 3, 2018 @ 3:39 pm
If it will stop all of the guys playing down on Lower Broadway from singing “Wagon Wheel” and “Tennessee Whiskey” ad nauseam, I am up for it.
July 3, 2018 @ 3:41 pm
Looking at the headline of the article I was thinking I’d never heard of the song. Less that three bars in I not only recognized it but distinctly recall singing the chorus at the top of my lungs at least once…….. somewhere….. sometime…..beer may have been involved. It is the perfect song for ending a set at 2AM. I like both versions.
Anyway this project does way more good than harm. Actually does no harm. And if it does a tenth of what Wagon Wheel did, it will certainly help the songwriters bank account!
However, the video itself doesn’t have any of the charm of Wagon Wheel’s.
July 3, 2018 @ 3:45 pm
The f%ck is this
July 3, 2018 @ 5:20 pm
Awww, they think they are the highwayman.
North Woods Country
July 3, 2018 @ 5:34 pm
This song is annoyingly awkward. Too many cooks in the kitchen–it’s a wonder this meth lab didn’t explode
July 3, 2018 @ 6:29 pm
It’s not perfect but it’s absolutely a step in the right direction. At least it sounds like a country song. I’m looking forward to hearing more tunes like this on country radio again.
July 3, 2018 @ 7:39 pm
I’m tired of y’all playing dress up and trying to sing them old country songs
July 3, 2018 @ 11:11 pm
Sometimes I feel like cuttin’ a vein, and just watchin’ it bleed.
July 3, 2018 @ 8:35 pm
Sorry but this is jut another forgettable piece of shit lyrically and musically . Not surprised cuz not one of these four would know a great song if it was handed to them on a silver platter by Don Schlitz . This is most definitely worse than most of the hit on the radio . The real mystifying thing is that somehow Aldean convinced these guys he was a singer .
Just crappola ………..
July 4, 2018 @ 1:00 am
wow totally different feel. drvin n cryins version is somber almost like the gin blossoms and the song is more tragic and emotional. hooties is just pop crap, trying to sell it as a frat song. hooties gotta stop butchering songs!
July 4, 2018 @ 3:49 am
EVERYBODY SINGING COUNTRY MUSIC ,KEEP UP A GOOD WORK. GREAT JOB .
July 4, 2018 @ 3:53 am
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE HOLIDAY IN USA CELEBRITED JULY 4 2018.THANK GOD TO LIVE TO SEE MANY MANY MORE INDEPENDENCE DAY.
July 4, 2018 @ 7:07 am
Looks like they dressed up for Halloween.
The Other Wayne
July 4, 2018 @ 7:51 am
My issue with the cover is that the upbeat, booze-slathered wannabe Friends in Low Places sing-along chanting of a group of guys who sound more happy than lonesome goes directly against the lyrics and mood of the original.
July 4, 2018 @ 8:09 am
July 4, 2018 @ 9:47 am
Daaaaamn, why all the hair metal hate? Back y’all, Im going to youtube and watching some Cinderella videos!!
July 4, 2018 @ 10:48 am
They lost their job and got kicked out of their tree.
July 4, 2018 @ 1:01 pm
Easilly the big standout of off Darius Rucker’s forgettable album last year 🙂
July 4, 2018 @ 1:37 pm
Lemme see, Rucker is a major success; has quite a repertoire; is having fun playing dress-up in a video; many are entertained; you’re pissed. Works for lots of us., as you sound increasingly like an angry bedwetter. Grow up. You’re not saving anything with your ‘messiahship’. Angry (envious?) at others’ success as you may be, people will listen to and buy what they hell they want, making it look like God’s not on your side, lil’ savior.
See, easy being a critic on this side, too.
July 4, 2018 @ 4:02 pm
Because commercial, marketing driven success is God’s side, right?
Most of the regulars here are envious of the artists making good music. So, going to have to go with a big “no” on that front as well.
July 4, 2018 @ 6:02 pm
Okay, Les, I would love to see you try to do what Trigger does. The easy thing is writing asinine comments like this. The hard thing is to review and profile a variety of country artists and happenings on a daily basis. Sure, there’s bias and blind spots. I’ve disagreed with Trigger in the past, but these lazy broadside attacks are pathetic.
I happen to think that this song is rather harmless and ultimately for the better, not the worse, in the mainstream country landscape. Yet, I appreciate SCM’s criticisms.
July 9, 2018 @ 9:35 am
Credit where credit’s due: Trigger makes good reading with his whining against people who don’t make songs the way he would if he could. Ooooh, tough gig for a messiah/critic.
Get down off that cross, Trig-man; make crutches or a bench out of the wood instead.
July 4, 2018 @ 6:17 pm
The art of the original is lost on you. The cover is jut a singing drink along, not just devoid of meaning but disgracing the original meaning.
July 9, 2018 @ 9:22 am
So you don’t like it; big deal. To please you and Trigger, what should people who like it do?
July 4, 2018 @ 5:20 pm
I honestly believe hottie changed the demographic of OCMS crowds for the worse. Since he covered Wagon Wheel, I get in fights at their shows which never happened.
July 4, 2018 @ 10:45 pm
If Rucker’s cover helps raise Drivin N Cryan’s profile and helps them sell more copies of their upcoming album featuring Little Joe on guitar and produced by Aaron Lee Tasjan,, it was worthwhile. At worst Kinney gets some extra cash.
Speaking of Tasjan, new album Karma For Cheap is out in August.
July 5, 2018 @ 6:17 am
The problem with this version is that Straight to Hell is not in any way shape or form a drinking song. It’s a disaffected, disappointed with adults, kid growing up song, like Slaid Cleaves’ Black T Shirt. When the character sings that he’s going straight to hell he isn’t celebrating the fact. He’s being ironic, sarcastic, he’s sad and frustrated and he’s more likely to start and lose a fight in a parking lot than he is to head out to the local watering hole and for a drunken piano man singalong with his buddies. To turn this tune into a drinking song is to kill it. I don’t mind Darius generally – he has always seemed like a thinking kind of guy. He was smart enough to leave Wagon Wheel the hell alone. I don’t know why they decided to sacrifice this great song. And I really don’t know why they had to dress like frontier days cosplayers to do it. Just another contemporary ‘country’ anomaly, which has become pretty much a genre of anomalies.
A Lea Turner
March 31, 2023 @ 10:49 pm
Hey, Craig. When I first listened and commented, I felt much the way you do. I do still agree with a lot of what you wrote. But at the same time, while there is definitely some meaning to the song, and hear me out because I have always loved that song and DnC, there is a small amount of tongue in cheek to it. Albeit, it is definitely more substantial than the way it comes across here – at first listen. The thing about folk songs or drinking songs and traditional tunes though – if we are being completely truthful – is that sometimes they start out as serious or dark stories. I think sometimes it can be interesting to listen to a song with an upbeat lighthearted delivery and then realize the words are actually quite serious. I mean, a lot of music is kind of ironic in that way right? Kind of like fairy tales or children’s nursery rhymes. They’re actually really dark but not delivered that way. Of course I’m not a fan because I like the original – love the original – but the more I think about it, you can deliver a song in a lot of different ways. It may not be my bag but at the same time I think I now see what Rucker was trying to go for. He’s trying to do a country song that isn’t depressing and is upbeat and fun that you can sing along to that also has some interesting lyrics. And it’s hard to write a good country song. Well, ever since Hank died. But yeah – initially I’m like what a sacrilege. How dare you!
July 5, 2018 @ 7:03 am
I saw Drivin’ & Cryin’ in concert at the Deep Roots Festival in Milledgeville GA this past October but never heard a note of hair metal music. But what I did hear was some of the best kick ass southern rock I’ve heard in a while from Kinney and the band. As for Darius Rucker’s version of Going Straight to Hell…meh.
July 5, 2018 @ 8:27 am
Not bad. Way better than Kane Brown, that’s for sure.
July 5, 2018 @ 7:47 pm
Hootie and the Blowfish were once described as the “B string” of rocknroll.
July 6, 2018 @ 6:31 am
It’s not as good as the original. Drivin’ & Cryin are a great band to check out – especially if you like americana/southern rock. I don’t think Rucker needed the extra country stars on this re-do. It takes away from the overall experience. It doesn’t hit home, just feels like a joke, in a sense. Not a terrible version, but lacks the grit of the original.
July 6, 2018 @ 7:13 am
Will the man not rest until he destroys every song?
July 7, 2018 @ 12:58 pm
Kyle, (if you see this) that’s just one of the best songs from that time. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to it, turning it way up!
I was never a big fan of ‘Hootie &….’ ; rem how people went wild for their first single. I was glad to see Darius go to Country. It has seemed like a good fit for him. I think he has an outstanding voice; that he’s someone who could have won one of the vocal reality shows if he needed to start that way. Just wish I could connect with his songs more, I usually find I don’t connect with what a lot of his songs are about.
The world’s crazy now, I guess I think it’s kind of fun that these guys are doing this. Something different. I also think it’s neat to see who are friends with whom, in music (and acting and celebrities).– fun to notice who he picked to do this with him.
July 7, 2018 @ 3:02 pm
I see all the comments.
King Honky Of Crackershire
July 7, 2018 @ 1:06 pm
What a dumb song, regardless of who sings it. To acknowledge the existence of Hell, and then laugh about going there, is the seat of stupidity.
July 8, 2018 @ 10:20 am
OK. Listened to a couple of CND versions of this song and was not impressed. Then listened to the Darius Rucker and Friends version. Liked that much better. I worked at a place where Rear View was played all day every day. I read an interview where Rucker says his heart was more into country and wanted that album to be country but powers that be dictated and he went along with it. Regardless, great album, IMHO. Darius Rucker has brought JOY to so many people. When I watch him sing I see his JOY. His voice is distinctive. When you hear him sing, you know it is him. KUDOS Darius, especially for Let Her Cry. I will always appreciate this man.
July 8, 2018 @ 9:41 pm
I thought the song and the video were pretty good but, to be honest, the Drivin’-‘n’-Cryin’ original sounded much better to me.
July 12, 2018 @ 2:18 pm
Hi Trigger, the comment I wrote was response to ‘Kyle’ July 4th @9:47am. I forgot that was your name also! I would think to only address you as Trigger on here. —If you see this too that is 🙂
Big D from SC
July 28, 2018 @ 1:13 pm
Rucker and his twat bros suck the life out of this one. It’s a song that should be all piss and vinegar but, as with everything Rucker touches, it’s a unicorn farting ersatz twangy rainbows.