This week's song is sad and fun. Toby Keith's newest release, Big Blue Note, reads like a sad ol' lost-my-honey but doesn't sound weepy at all. That's what makes Blue such a good listen. Toby's tag-line, "she's gone," has appeared in no less than a half-dozen tunes in the last couple years. This time, though, it's an oh-well-that's-life kind of lament. I can picture the guy in the story with his feet up on a nearby chair and a cold beer in one hand, big blue good-bye note on the table serving as a cocktail napkin.
I'm not a big TK fan, but I like this song very much. Keith has been on a bar-hoppin' whiskey drinkin' flag-wavin' good-old-boy track for the past few months. He's had enormous success with these records, to the point where some of his older (in my opinion, better) arrangements no longer fit into radio playlists. I'll take My List (2001?) over I Love This Bar or Whiskey Girl every time. Now I'll settle for Big Blue Note, just for the pleasure of it. The song's tone is whimsical and wistful but not maudlin. One of the verses describes the singer folding his Dear-John letter into a paper airplane and sending it aloft. If it doesn't come back, then, well, she's gone. Nice light touch, and a good visual metaphor, too. If Keith wrote this one (he writes much of his material, but I haven't checked yet), he did a fine job of it.
I'm sure Keith's next release will have something to do with hot women drinking alcohol and blessing America in a neighborhood bar. (Toby has opened a small chain of saloons in the South.) Until then, I'll keep an ear out for Big Blue Note on my favorite Country station, just because it makes me smile. That's good enough for me. Feeling fine and singing along while I'm driving let's the day's stresses melt right out of my bones. And since I get to listen for free, that's priceless.
[Author's note: I listen to CMT in the background when I'm posting. Less than one minute after I pressed "Publish Post," as if in affirmation of my choice, the video for Big Blue Note came on. I hadn't seen it yet, so I turned to watch. The pictures fit the whimsy of the song perfectly. Songwriters, by the way, are Scotty Emerick and Toby Keith. As expected. Nice job, boys.]
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