As I spin my pick for the best Country album of 2021, My Guitar Drips Country, I am being pulled back to the sleeper track of this album. Released as a single in September 2021, six months after the album release, “Grandpappy” is a clever, witty tribute piece to Richard Lynch’s late grandfather. This rocking, guitar swinging, uptempo Country jam, still is my favorite track from this release. The call and response guitar playing over the melody offers some very unique blues-inspired fills and licks that snap the listeners to attention rapidly. These bluesy, fast licks really have no place on a track of this nostalgic subject matter, yet as a tribute to the man his “Grandpappy” was, the guitar offers the contrast of personality which allows the listener to create imagery of the man he really was. Of course, these superlative guitar licks are the highlight of this track, but the backing band needs all the shout-out, as the underlying funk, syncopated with the downbeat play exquisitely in the pocket with the drummer allowing Richard to explore these musical phrases with ease, knowing he always has that steady rhythm box to fall back into.
Lyrically, Richard is telling a narrative of the man he is paying tribute to. However, instead of allowing his word to fall unchallenged, he mixes strong metaphor, and vibrant imagery to his phrases, each one carefully penned to be captivating and achieve the impact he is looking for. “He could make a fiddle scream when he picked up his bow or set the strings on fire when he played his banjo”, how fitting Richard Lynch utilized the tempo and swing he did to pay homage to this figure. So, as I continue to explore My Guitar Drips Country, and I end up replaying “Grandpappy” over and over again, trying to pick out the nuances of this style, I eagerly await more from this artist, and feel live performance would be the best way to truly appreciate the larger-than-life sound.
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