I don’t know how well this will translate with US readers, but the football team I support (soccer to you people) produces a book for each home game. In it, there’s a profile of the child who is leading the team out that day.
These little ones are asked their ambitions, and usually they say they want to play for the team, be an astronaut, whatever. One day, this one little boy gave the best answer to this sort of thing. Ever.
He “wanted to own a lorry.” That’s it, nothing else.
I am not sure what this lad is doing now, he’s probably about 30 and doing some boring job trying to make ends meet, but somewhere in me is the dream that he is driving his juggernaut up and down the land.
He could, in fairness, have been auditioning for a career in country music, so heartland is that aim. Devin Dawson even has a song called “I Got A Truck”, like all working class, blue collar fellas in these type of songs often do. He’s got a girl, a dream, a song and four wheels. No one ever needed any more, did they.
Dawson is a Country Music Award Winner, with a number one single credit in his pocket (he wrote the hit “God’s Country” for his friend Blake Shelton – and his last album crashed into the charts top five.
The first time I came across him, in truth, was on the Hardy single “One Beer”, and that, for UK people who might not be familiar, is a good starting point. He has a similar working class, down home Friday Night Lights feel, but all the while with an unashamed pop bent.
“Range Rover” is a fine example of the quirky way he writes songs too. Not for him worrying about the one that got away. What he wants is the right one.
“Not On My Watch” essentially eschews country altogether, preferring instead to go for a similar vibe to Rob Thomas in about the early part of the last decade. This is catchier than the flu. They would be best to vaccinate against it.
Thing is, though, when he does “love” songs, he’s good at it. But he’s original. “Whatever Forever Is” might not get in Hallmark Greetings Cards, but its more real than anything that does.
Perhaps the best, though, is “He Loved Her”. One from the heart and about his grandparents, it is a superb example of exactly what this sort of music represents, and the dance flavours of “Who’s Gonna Hold Ya” is made for the proms that the kids aren’t going to be able to go on in a few months.
On one hand this follows in a long line of country pop (and for sure you can see how Dawson ended up supporting Brett Eldredge) but on the other, this has a lyrical perspective and a sound that is out on its own.