I told you. Once Music Row figured out there is a HUGE group of disgruntled REAL country music fans out there with money to spend, they were going to start manufacturing their own “Outlaws,” fresh faced and focused grouped, ready to maximize their profits with fashion plate country. Well ladies and gentleman, I give you Columbia Nashville/Sony recording artist Josh Thompson, Nashville’s answer to the appetite for REAL country.
This is how they do it: The first thing you need is a bunch of glamor shots, and since the target demographic is red meat “Outlaws” let’s take them in hotel rooms and construction sites. I mean really? Hell, let’s even get him out to Hank’s grave. I mean isn’t that what all those ugly, foul-mouthed, stupid rednecks like, is people who show respect to Hank, right?
But then when it boils down to the actual music, it is the same formulaic frat boy country bullshit. Give it a listen and tell me I’m wrong. Here’s Josh Thompson with his, um, partner:
Two hours with a hair stylist: $400.
Matching designer shirts: $250
8 ball from a black guy in the parking lot that was really talcum powder and baking soda: $80.
Same damn song every other pop country manufactured star plays: WORTHLESS.
But maybe you’re thinking that this is just his radio single, and his others songs might be more “Outlaw.” Think again. Here’s another with that same damn pop country cadence, and I warn you, 0:15 might be the most douche-riddled moment I have ever seen from anyone claiming to be “country,” and it might result in you trying to clean your half-digested lunch out of the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of your computer’s keyboard.
“Ladies, this is for you especially . . .”. Did he really say that? REALLY?
But this is where this guy brought my piss to a boil, a song he calls Blame It On Waylon.
Piped over a video that shows high school-esque overindulgence of alcohol, nookie girls, and some homo-erotic ass slapping scene at 2:10, this guy is giving tribute to Waylon Jennings for his “honky tonk ways.” I will tell you straight up, this song insults me more than if someone had told me to go suck my mother’s dick.
Listen Josh Thompson–that’s right, I’m talking directly to YOU. Waylon Waymore Watashin Jennings was a true Outlaw. He wasn’t an Outlaw because he wore his baseball cap backwards when he got sloshed and hit on peroxide blond coeds, he was an Outlaw because he looked the Nashville establishment in the face and said “I’m the hoss. We do it my way or no way.”
In fact Waylon wasn’t much of a drinker. Instead he did cocaine. A lot of cocaine. Until he became dis-attached from the whole world, going from bus to stage, and back to bus, never hanging out with anyone, never granting interviews. He could only relate to the world through his music, and even his best friends felt like strangers. Luckily he broke free of all of that one day in Arizona, but he had to come to within an inch of his life to do so, and even then, his lifestyle caught up with him in an early death.
Waylon Jennings died for your sins Josh, and all of the sins of country music. And until you can understand what a TRUE Outlaw is, and especially if you’re just going to use it as some marketing term, I wish you’d keep the name Waylon Jennings out of your damn mouth.
You see Josh, I have no doubt that you’re a fan of Waylon, or Hank Williams, or whoever. But your story and their story are not the same. Josh Thompson isn’t even a person now, it is a franchise. You are more machine than man now, tooled to optimize album sales, your soul replaced by an autotuner, your spirit swapped for a tape recorder, your life path switched for a marketing strategy. Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare, Tompall Glaser, and David Alan Coe were Outlaws because they resisted the very thing you’re embracing, and no amount of drinking or tattoos or bawdy talk will make up for that.
Josh, if you want to become a TRUE Outlaw, and if your music is any good, then I will embrace you as an artist. Willie and Waylon started inside the system too. But until then, you are my enemy, a sworn enemy, even worse than Taylor Swift, and I’m going to be on your ass like stink on shit. Because Music Row has already stolen the word “country” from the people, and I’ll be damned if we’ll let the same thing happen to “Outlaw,” and ESPECIALLY to the sainted name of one Waylon Jennings.
I will be your shadow Josh, the voice of your conscience, at least until you change your ways, start calling yourself pop country instead of outlaw country, or until you decide to 86 the whole charade for a more honest living.
Welcome to country music.