Bush Hog is keeping it rural on debut CDThursday, April 23, 2009 By Christopher Leeman, Class of 2010
Bush Hog may be a brand name, but it is also a band. Bush Hog is made up of six down-to-earth country boys that have a Southern blend of lyrics and a beautiful way of presenting them. Their self-titled debut CD is filled with ten songs that range in topics from life lessons and the economy, to their desperate cry for the country way of life, to of course, heartbreak. The first song on the CD is called "Keepin’ It Rural," which is exactly what you’d expect. It is appropriately placed as the first track because it is a proclamation of who they are. It says, “Clingin’ to my guns and God, Damn proud of what little I got, Backwoods it just my nature, Til I meet my maker…. You know that we’ll be deep in the country, keepin’ it rural ”. It is an upbeat song that is perfect to crank loudly in a truck and is easily relatable to rural folks when it mentions “granddaddy’s shotgun under my bed”. Next on the CD is "Huckleberry." It is another upbeat song that I listen to before I swim, as it gets me pumped up. It is about having a backbone and standing up for what you believe in. Such is evident when it goes: “If you think I’ll stand for this, You thought wrong, My patience is wearing thin, If a show down’s what you want, I’ll be your huckleberry, Stand my ground you don’t scare me, When I get fired up, I ain’t backin’ down. We can handle this peacefully, or toe to toe is fine with me, Yea I’m from the country I ain’t afraid to go to town. Call me, born ready; I’ll be your huckleberry” "God Save The Country" is a song that identifies the problem of urbanization. It is the country folks' cry for their way of life, as it is being endangered by the outward growth of civilization. It flows very nicely and it presents a very legit problem in which it seems only God can solve. It is an upbeat song just as the previous two songs have been and it is a lyrical representation of every country person's deepest concern. “This life is what we live and breathe God save the country, Those country miles, country roads, Country livin’ country folks, If the city keeps comin’ where’s the country gonna go, No more land no more dirt oh man What’s it worth living in a world without those country girls, I’m beggin’ please, God save the country.” "Live It Up" provides beautiful insight to life’s happiness. The whole song is a grandfather telling his grandson many life lessons that need to be remembered in today’s technological society in which people are more self-oriented as opposed to family oriented. The song references World War II and having a son prior to being shipped overseas for the war. The value of family is emphasized in this song. It is the first slower song on the CD. “You can’t live your life in fear Of makin’ a few mistakes Take the time to smell the roses, ‘Fore they’re layin’ on your grave Live it up Til they lay ya down If ya wanna be remembered son Ya don’t have to stand out in a crowd Live to love and love to live And always give more than you can get Never take for granted the here and now Live it up, til they lay ya down.” Country music has been known over the years as music that people can relate to; it’s the voice of the nation. Well most people dismiss country music as irrelevant because they think that only rural people can relate. Well, Bush Hog sings the song of many people in today’s economy with the song Hell or Mexico. It is neither upbeat nor slow, as Bush Hog has found a happy medium for this song. The song starts off like this: “Paper said the times were tough, unemployment rate is up In this ole’ town, since they shut the factory down Two weeks of severance pay, ten years of my life thrown away Uncle Jim was close to retirin’, at 56 now whose gonna hire him Everything but gasoline has reached an all-time low, It’s all gone to Hell or Mexico. Hard work and dedication, don’t mean nothin’ on an application If there ain’t no job to get If one more thing gets closed down, this place is gonna be a ghost town And where we gonna live? If the only life we’ve known is gone to, Hell or Mexico.” "Cash Crop" is very similar to The Lost Trailers’ song "Gravy." It is about a distraught farming family that is about to lose their farm. It is about the younger generation of farmers in the family growing marijuana in order to survive. It presents a very real problem in America as farmers all across the nation are very poor and are in danger of losing their farms, thus America losing its food. It presents a clash of ideals between the father and the son. Like "Hell or Mexico", it is at a medium pace and is very easy to listen to. “My daddy worked this farm, His daddy worked it too I thought I’d lost it all In the drought of ’92. Sun came and turned my land, Damn near into desert sand But I got myself a brand new plan Talk about my cash crop Its all home grown Cashin’ in on the seeds I’d sown Tryin’ to get the people what they want Talking bout my cash crop Rollin it in Livin’ on supply and demand You could say my futures goin’ up in smoke Talkin' bout my cash crop” "I’m Leaving You For Him" is one of only two love songs on the album. It covers real problems as it tells the story of an wife who leaves her alcholic husband. “She closed that suitcase on the bed and said I can’t do this anymore You’re not the only man in my life I must confess My love for him is stronger than The whiskey that’s always on your breath She said I’m leaving you for him even though he reminds me of you Cause I can’t sit here and pretend, that you’ll ever be the man I once knew His anger turned to tears He just stood there stunned She just walked to the babies crib and picked up their son And said I’m leaving you for him.” The whole song you think she is talking about leaving him for another man. In reality, she is him leaving for her son, a baby. It is a slow song but it does not lose your attention. "Roll on Down (Through the Country)" denounces city life and idolizes living in the country. It is a song that all country folks can relate to. It is a short song, only 2:30, but it incorporates so many aspects of the country life, and it compares it to specific aspects of city life. The comparisons it draws are very interesting because it is presented lyrically. Since it has aspects of city life in it, city folks can relate to it too. “I polished up my gun And when the morning sun comes Gonna have a buck in my sights First I’m gonna kill it Then I’m gonna grill it Who needs a city life? I’m gonna roll on down through the country, I’m gonna roll on down through the country. Well I don’t need a fitness center or a low carb dinner, I’m getting thinner bustin’ my ass Keep ya California roll I wanna burger with my Skoal Take ya cappuccino make mine black And when th'debate gets heavy, ‘tween a Ford and Chevy, We’ll see who comes in last, I wanna roll on down through the country.” The ninth track on the CD is called "Where Do I Go from Here?" It is the second and final love song on the album. It is the lamentation from a heartbroken man in a bar, who just wants to go home to his love. He goes through different options of where he can go, but he has nowhere. It is depressing because you get connected to him; you feel for him. “Now this shot glass Is all I have to hold. When I hit the bottom, You still don’t disappear Where do I go from here? When the lights are goin out And they’re sayin’ last call, And the band is breakin’ down, And the whiskey’s on the wall. When they’re lockin’ the doors, And the smoke starts to clear If I can’t come home to you, Where do I go from here?” This final track is about a bunch of country folk at a Hank Williams Jr. concert. Anyone who has been to a country music concert will easily be able to relate to this song. That is what makes this song so great, it is so universal. It is appropriately titled "Lawn Seats at a Hank Jr. Concert." “Lawn seats at a Hank Jr. concert, Never been so drunk in my whole life The lights went down and the music started, A crowd of rebel pride Never seen so many fine lookin’ women In one place at one time, well I was good to go And Hank started the show Dixie on My Mind Sing me a song, Oh Bocephus, Tell me how your rowdy friends have settled on down But don’tcha worry, All of us back in the grass, whiskey bent and Hell bound And a sweet little thing, cut off jeans, and a white t shirt Lawn seats at a Hank Jr. concert.” When an artist can suck you into feeling the exact emotions they want you to, all in a song, I believe they have achieved the ultimate success. Bush Hog effectively does that in not one, but all ten of their songs. They are all on the same page and seem to have very good chemistry with each other, which is very key in making it big in the music industry. Just skimming over some of the lyrics doesn't do justice to all six of the members of Bush Hog who wrote and performed them. If you are at all interested in hearing them, you won’t find them on iTunes. Therefore, you will need to visit their website, www.myspace.com/bushhogmusic . All you have to do is send them a message telling them that you are interested in a copy of their CD and provide them with your mailing address and they will mail you a few for free. So message them, and give the extra CD’s to your friends! Get the word out that Bush Hog is the next big thing in the country music industry.