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Austin Martin Releases “Country Drunk”

Singer/songwriter, guitarist and melodic wizard Austin Martin has a lot of old school honky tonk in his sound, and it’s more than obvious when listening to his new single “Country Drunk,” which could be described as a hybrid of country and roots rock if we were to examine it from a mainstream perspective. However, if we look at this song from an experimental angle, the critical perception of its debatable experiments in genre-bending takes on a completely different tone.

Austin Martin sounds like an artist in search of his sound in “Country Drunk,” but as wild a songcraft as it employs, I don’t know that it’s anything but a stunner at the end of the day.

There’s loads of potential in the framework of this track, and I like that all of the best attributes present are properly utilized to where we can feel the dynamic passion that Martin has when he plays. The rhythm is righteous, and there’s just enough zeal in the percussion for us to enjoy it. The guitars have the right melody, and better yet, they’re loud enough for us to appreciate their contribution. To appreciate all of the depth and tone here, I feel like I would need to hear it from Austin Martin’s lips on stage somewhere, where nothing would be capable of intruding on his performance.

The most redemptive element in “Country Drunk” is its depth of emotion, which is plain as day when we strip away the polish and take a look at the lyrics, and perhaps more importantly, their relationship with the muted groove in the percussion.

The rhythm here is pulsating with a folky sway that meshes with the wistful attitude of the vocal perfectly, and the diversity in the construction makes it a lot more provocative than most of the country/rock singles I’ve reviewed lately.

Ultimately listeners will have to decide for themselves whether or not “Country Drunk” is a true attempt at hybridity or an authentically stylized leap towards the experimental on the part of Austin Martin, but I for one am looking forward to hearing even more material from this artist in the future. “Country Drunk” has a certain charm about it, and it never feels as though we’re listening to something that was made to pander to the audience. It’s abundantly clear to me that the organic talent Austin Martin has isn’t being exploited for what it’s truly worth just yet, and for me, I have to wonder just how much juice he’s going to pack into his next single since this offering boasts as much muscle as it does.

The country music faithful don’t need to fear that this is a player we won’t be hearing much of beyond this track, because if he can stick to the present trajectory he is on I have a feeling that not only will he have a place in the mainstream, but within the hallowed grounds of country’s inner circle a lot sooner than some might be anticipating.

Mindy McCall



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