Nothing signifies for me more that summer is here than country music. I associate the carefree vibes of country music with kicking back after another hard year of university with a cool drink and the sun beating down on my pale face.
Therefore, Billy J. White’s album Country Drag Strip put my seasonal love of country music straight into touch. I’m always looking for new country music and a couple of summers ago that led me to downloading the True Blood soundtrack due to being unable to source any decent and new country music from elsewhere. Obviously there are always the reliable ladies in the form of Carrie, Shania and Sheryl but sometimes you have to trust a man.
Listening to White you assume that he was born and bred in the Deep South but in fact he is from Canada which came as a big shock to me. Who knew that a Canadian could pull off country blues? However, having been a lover of music from a young age he has had plenty of time to hone his talented vocals. His inspiration to delve into country was procured at hearty family gatherings, in which guitars, harmonicas, and spoons were played in time with the many harmonies.
It is obvious from tracks such as “BBQ” and “Country Drag Strip” that White also associates country music with the sun and having a good time in the sun. Both these songs make great summer tracks to get your party going. The jazzy piano notes at the end of “BBQ” just complete the spontaneous feeling that BBQ’s can bring up. Well, they do where I live as the weather is so tempestuous. It is not unusual to be having a BBQ in Britain with a BBQ skewer in one hand and an umbrella in the other.
Alongside such catchy carefree tracks, there are also a couple of classic country ballads fit for a drunken night of singing after the BBQ. White’s vocals fit perfect with this style of singing and the songs have real depth to them. My favorite of the ballads are ‘To Believe’ as it is a potentially inspirational song with soothing music to accompany it.
It was really difficult to pick a favorite song off this album as all the songs have something to offer but Rebel without a Cause is my favorite of the day with the great line of ‘That’s when they say it all began like Charlie Sheen or good ole James Dean. I’m a rebel without a cause. I don’t sit around waitin’ for handouts ‘cause I don’t believe in Santa Clause.’ I am such a sucker for a rhyming chorus especially in country music. I feel country music makes it slightly cooler than mainstream music does though.
If you enjoy barbecuing and the occasional jazzy line-dance then get this on your summer playlist and dance away but hopefully not with an umbrella in one hand.