Country as a genre is definitely enjoying some form of a renaissance (though, did it ever really die?) at the moment, and there are a number of outstanding talents emerging who are making it a bit less ‘jug band’ and a little more ‘juvenation’.
With Me, Myself, and I-45, Ben Wagner exposes his expertise at being able to pull country into the modern age – much like the local artist, Chris Sims, whose material we have covered in the past. Not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater, Wagner does an absolutely sterling job of ensuring that the song remains true to its roots with some fantastic work on the lap-steel and the harmonica that that manages to ground a piece that’s not afraid of showing its modern leanings with sampled elements, pitch shifted pianos, and drums that are filtered to within inch of their lives.
As one might deduce from the title, this song is all about drivin’ down a long (and presumably dusty?) road; both metaphorically and literally, and the lyrics are absolutely brilliant in conveying the sense of a journey in an evocative and poetic way – with the deal being sealed by that devilishly clever title line in the chorus that had us marvelling and slapping the ‘loop’ button immediately.
Make no bones about it, Ben Wagner is a talent to keep a look out for, bringing fresh and exciting twists into the country genre, and with lyrics that are astonishingly clever.
You can take a listen to Me, Myself, and I-45 on your streaming platform of choice, and find out more about Ben Wagner on his Instagram and Facebook pages.
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