Yes, Captain Old Farts & Jackasses has given traditional country fans plenty of reasons to give him a hairy eyeball over the years or curse his name under their breath (anyone remember the tractor rapping of “Boys ‘Round Here”?) But I’ll be damned if Blake Shelton hasn’t been on some prolonged traditional country kick lately.
This is not a review, this is a warning. Sam Hunt’s “Leave The Night On” is a potential swan song for what we define as country music today, more than any song that has come before. I know, you’re saying, “Can you tell me this song is somehow more pop than Taylor Swift, or pushes the limit more than Jerrod Neimann’s EDM monster ‘I Can Drink To That All Night’?” That is exactly what I’m telling you.
Over the last few months, and the last few weeks specifically, we have been going through a country music Cambrian Explosion of sorts, with massive, earth-moving events completely re-shaping the style and infrastructure of a genre that has been around for over 70 years. Arguably there’s been more significant events in a short period than any other time in country’s history.