5 Five-Second Single Reviews: Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, The Dirt Drifters, OCMS, Darius Rucker

Trace Adkins, “Just Fishin'” (Listen)

Written by Casey Beathard, Monty Criswell and Ed Hill

Wish this weren’t quite so heavy-handed about driving home the theme; a subtler approach could have made it a Strait-type classic. Still a nice, fresh idea, though.

Grade: B

Jason Aldean featuring Ludacris, “Dirt Road Anthem (Remix)” (Listen)

Written by Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert

The jauntier rapping and production on Ludacris’ verse brings the track to life. They should have let him take over and just given Jason the choruses, a la Nelly/Tim’s “Over and Over.”

Grade: C+

The Dirt Drifters, “Always a Reason” (Listen)

Written by Ryan Fleener, Jeff Middleton and Justin Wilson

Their Springsteen is showing too much, but I still hope it’s a hit. Like “Something Better” before it, solid blue-collar bar rock.

Grade: B+

Old Crow Medicine Show, “Wagon Wheel”

Written by Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor

I’m confused. Are they actually releasing this oldie as a single? Wasn’t it already one? This is probably just some random promo thingy. In any case, still one of country music’s all-time great sing-alongs.

Grade: A+

Darius Rucker, “I Got Nothin'”

Written by Darius Rucker and Clay Mills

You got somethin’; you just ain’t usin’ it.

Grade: C


  1. Agreed on all 3 comments.

    It’s also strange that he seems so disconnected on his songs because he has a hand in writing several of them (I don’t know about this one in particular, too lazy to go look).

    And I wish I could hear some Wagon Wheel on the radio…but I don’t see that day coming, no matter how popular that song’s become…

  2. Yeah, I’ve seen this Wagon Wheel release popping up various places, would love to know what the deal is. One of my favorite songs ever.

    Darius at one point said something that hinted at writing a CD of songs that was “too country”, and having it sent back by the execs in favor of this lighter stuff. He’s making millions doing it, so maybe it was a smart financial move, but I wonder if there could be some truth to that talk.

    Last thing… I have to admit that Dirt Road Anthem has grown on me to the point where I don’t hate it. Cliche as it is, at least it’s restrained, and the chorus actually has a nice, laid-back groove. Agree that leaving the rapping to the rapper would have been a good idea though, or at least trying to “speak” the rap verses more naturally rather than trying to do that pseudo-rap thing.

    Love these weekly reviews, BTW. Keep ’em comin’!

  3. I have to admit, a small part of me digs the Aldean song, though I haven’t heard the version with Luda. Ludacris is one of my favorite rappers so I’ll have to hunt that one down.

    As far as Wagon Wheel is concerned, the chorus was written by Bob Dylan, I think it was in a movie, many years ago but it was only a chorus. OCMS took that chorus and wrote the rest of the song around it in the last 10 years or so. The song’s been around for ages so I don’t know why they’re now releasing it. :P

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