George Strait releases CD “Honky Tonk Time Machine”

| April 3, 2019 | Reply

George Strait, “Honky Tonk Time Machine,” MCA Nashville

Review by Mary Jane Farmer

George Strait’s newest CD, Honky Tonk Time Machine, got its full release in late March, but the public heard a couple of songs ahead of the full-fledged release. The first release was “Every Little Honky Tonk,” which remains on the Billboard charts. It’s danceable, high-energy, and has imaginative lyrics, such as the lead, “Whiskey is the gasoline that lights the fire that burns the bridge. Ice creates the water that’s no longer running under it.” And the chorus continues in that style, full of similes all of which combined “That’s what happens in every little honky tonk bar.”

And by now every law enforcement officer has probably heard “The Weight of the Badge,” a tribute to the very people who put on the badge and go out regularly to protect and serve us.

“Old Violin” is a story about growing older,  “Tonight I feel like an old violin, soon to be put away and never played again.” It’s about the helplessness of feeling so much hopelessness. “Cause I can’t change this feeling in the slightest way — I try.” So much emotion in it, and Strait has just the voice to pull it off. “And just like that it hit me, Why that old violin and I, we’re just alike. We give our all to music, and soon we’ll give our life.” That’s the only song on the CD that is a pure cover, Johnny Paycheck wrote it.

And the fun ditty about “Sing One with Willie,” about Strait’s never having sang a duo with Willie Nelson. “Now I ain’t too proud, I’m gonna shout it out loud, I ain’t never got to sing with Willie.” And the good-natured lament continues until, all of a sudden, that very recognizable voice kicks and it’s Willie singing, “Back and forth up and down t he highways, wherever our big buses can go. But I think that it’s great to finally sing one with Strait.” Just pure fun. George and Willie co-wrote that with Bubba Strait and Buddy Cannon. George’s son, Bubba, co-wrote many of the songs here, as did George himself. Strait’s long-time songwriter, Dean Dillon, joined in the co-write on “Blue Water” and several other of the cuts. Actually, the truth is that George Strait co-wrote eight of the 13 tracks, possibly a record for the man who can recognize a good song and make a hit of it, even if he didn’t write it. They kept their pens out of the writing of “Two More Wishes, which was written by Jim Lauderdale and Odie Blackmon.

It’s a keeper of an album.


Category: *- Features, - CD Reviews

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