I remember the first time I heard this song. I was stunned by its raw power musically and the near perfect delivery of the artist. We all heard Gilbert had written a lot of big songs for others, but this was his real debut on radio. Country was not this rock inspired in 2011 - as it would become in the coming years. I have always felt this song is among the reasons why, if not the biggest reason. To me, it's one of the most influential songs of the last 40 years in Country. It's an anthem for sure, and I feel there were many new artists that pointed to the radio when hearing this and said, "I wanna do THAT!" Lyrically it pays respect to the music before it, and is sung by a guy clearly influenced by those who were here before he was. But this song also pointed straight ahead to where we were possibly going. (Word is too the first recording was even stronger than this final version - and they scaled it back some) .
For the past few years I've been writing my Country Music Memory Lane Series and my Mega Star Series. They post here on Thursdays and will continue to do so.
Over the past 42 years I've played Country Music continuously on the radio, I am featuring 50 songs that are ones I have enjoyed playing the most, and in many cases still play - on the radio. I'll post once a week, till the end of the year!
I am NOT saying these are the BEST songs, just the ones I enjoy the most.