Gary Allan has announced the third single from his latest album Set You Free will be "It Ain't The Whiskey". Gary has been on a strong run of great radio singles lately, with "Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)" and "Pieces" being two of my favorites of the past year. Gary has set a high bar for himself, but he manages to surpass the lofty expectations with possibly his best single to date.
"It Ain't The Whiskey" is a well written, well sung, twangy, soulful, painful country heartbreaker. This is the stuff country music was built upon. This song offers a different angle on the heartache and pain a man feels when he loses his love, as he attempts to stifle the pain with alcohol. Gary tells the story like someone who has been there before. If there is anybody in country music that can make you believe a sad song, its Gary. He uses his gritty voice and unique approach to really squeeze every ounce of emotion from a lyric. Gary has a voice that seems to get stronger as he ages, and this may be the best he has ever sounded on a track.
Musically, this song is straight up country. The steel guitar cries right along with the melancholy lyrics to create a dismal atmosphere. The song has a strong sound, but never gets too big or too loud for the emotional impact of the lyrics. The organ at the beginning is haunting and paints a perfect backdrop for the sad tale about to be told. All in all, this song is what country music is all about. I can't get enough.
This song should be a massive hit. Recently, sad songs by Dierks Bentley and Alan Jackson have struggled at radio. Hopefully, the programmers realize that this song is simply too good to ignore. If this song has some success, Gary could see some well deserved and long overdue CMA and ACM nominations headed his way. 2013 has had some serious lows in country music, but it has had some fantastic highs. Some of the best country music I've heard has been released in the past year, and "It Ain't The Whiskey" ranks right up there near the top. Thank you for keeping it country, Gary!!!
"It Ain't The Whiskey" Live