Tyler Farr’s debut single, “Redneck Crazy,” became a hit in spite of the fact that it was about a good ol’ country boy stalking his ex-girlfriend, along with public drunkenness, loitering and probably half a dozen other punishable offenses. As good ol’ country boys do when they get dumped.
Based on that performance, it’s understandable to come to Farr’s second single, “Whiskey in My Water,” with lowered expectations. However, not only does the song not include any felonies, but it also happens to be a pretty strong mid-tempo love song.
Farr has a gritty, somewhat limited vocal range, and when he’s given a set of lyrics that references trucks and dirt roads within the first 20 seconds of the song, it’s easy to dismiss the song. “Whiskey,” written by Farr, Philip Larue and John Ozier takes the limited toolbox that country songwriters are using now and puts a few sweet lines together.
“Every day I pray I thank God I got her/She’s the moon in my shine, the whiskey in my water,” he sings. While it may be a clichéd lyric, it indicates a level of emotional attachment to the woman in question that goes beyond the mere lust that most male country stars sing about these days.
Farr’s debut album was a hit-or-miss affair and very much in keeping with the country-rap, frat boy atmosphere that is all too pervasive. However, many of the better songs, including this one, featured Farr as a co-writer. That may be a sign than there’s more to his music than chicks, trucks and beer.
Written by Tyler Farr, Philip Larue, and John Ozier
There’s an endearing story about Faith Hill early in her career. When she was recording “Piece of My Heart”, she expressed that she had never heard the Janis Joplin original. Listening to her cover, that’s quite clear.
That story came back to me while listening to “Hello Goodbye”, a single by new Columbia artist Tyler Farr. Looking at the title, I was curious if it was a cover of the classic Beatles hit. Having heard this completely different song, I’m struck that it’s so country that Farr might not even be aware that the Beatles exist, let alone had a song with the same title.
It’s a beautiful song, and Farr cranks the hillbilly heartbreak up to eleven. I don’t know how much depth and range he has to his voice as of yet, but he can certainly do country weepers better than most of the guys on the radio dial these days.