"Sweets for a sweetheart, that is what you said to me, as you handed me a shot glass, and I drank down hungrily."
A confession, a caveat, and a peace offering.
First the confession: It’s time I said it. I’m really not all that wild about alt.country. Apart from a few exceptions (Uncle Tupelo, early Neko Case, the first few Old 97’s records) I find it to be mostly boring and derivative. Sorry. I hope this fact won’t get between us. (Please feel free to vent in the comments.)
Now the caveat: When I say “alt.country,” I’m talking about the music that calls itself "alt.country," not the long tradition of music on the alternative or rocking side of country. I really love 1980’s cowpunk, 1970’s progressive/outlaw country, 1960’s country-rock, 1950’s rockabilly, and 1940’s hillbilly boogie. But it all kind fell flat for me in the 1990’s, right about the time they coined the term “alt.country.” Not sure why. Maybe I'm just old.
And, finally, the peace offering: Despite my newly expressed reservations about the genre, today I’m posting a great song performed by two alt.country artists I really do like, Amy Allison (the daughter of Mose Allison) and Laura Cantrell.
You can have this song two different ways: As a shot of straight-up bourbon whiskey (the original by Amy Allison) or on the rocks with a sprinkle of cool branch water stirred in (the smoother, but equally delicious, cover by Laura Cantrell). Try them both, as they've each got a different feel. Either way, it’s a fine drinking song, and about as contemporary as you’re going to get out of me in this series.
Amy Allison – The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter (buy album) Laura Cantrell – The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter (buy album)
Both of the albums from which these tracks come are well worth your money—especially if you actually like alt.country.
If you're looking for more drinking songs, be sure to head right over to Star Maker Machine, which is featuring the same theme this week.