Jason Boland and The Stragglers…a Red Dirt Country band that is simply classic. Or, as Ray Benson once described Boland, “…he simply does it the right way.” Boland and The Stragglers certainly are kicking off their 20th anniversary the “right way” with the release of the new single, “I Don’t Deserve You” from the upcoming album Hard Times are Relative. The single reached the Top 30 this week on the Texas Music Spotify Chart!
Boland shared with Rolling Stone that his inspiration for the song was his wife, Mandy, who was also the inspiration behind the single “Lucky I Guess” off of the 2015 record Dark & Dirty Mile. In a similar approach, Boland takes a love song and puts a different spin on it lyrically. He then takes the lyrics and mixes them with classic country elements such as a steady two-steppin’ beat and a solid steel guitar intro from the band. Last, but certainly not least, he features Texas’ own Sunny Sweeney’s vocals and she is so right for this song. In my opinion, she’s actually the icing on the cake. Together, Boland and Sweeney vocally create a classic sounding honky tonk with a sexy edge.
I couldn’t agree more with Ray Benson’s opinion on Boland after listening to this new track and especially in regards to the new album. A relative approach to music is a solid choice and Boland took ‘relative’ and literally put it in the lyrics of a song and made it the title his upcoming record. “If you’re having hard times, they are relative to somebody else’s hard times and whatever else is going on in the world,” Boland said.
For those of you who listened to Episode 2 of the TMP Podcast, you heard Chris Fox give advice to up and coming artists on style and genre. He mentioned that factors such as the authenticity, a harmonious relationship between the message, the vocals and the music and other elements such as the songwriting and the ability for the listener to connect are the things that make a band worth listening to. And to that I say, Boland’s new single is my show-and-tell for the week.
Hard Times are Relative is the ninth album from Boland and The Stragglers and is scheduled for release on May 18th (available for pre-order here). The record includes the following tracklist:
- “I Don’t Deserve You”
- “Hard Times Are Relative”
- “Right Where I Began”
- “Searching for You”
- “Do You Remember When”
- “Dee Dee OD’d”
- “Going, Going, Gone”
- “Tattoo of a Bruise”
- “Grandfather’s Theme”
Listen to “I Don’t Deserve You” on Spotify below!
You can also find the song, as well as, other great Texas Country, Red Dirt, and Americana here on out TMP Spotify Playlist!
Editorial contributor for Texas Music Pickers and a whole-hearted collector of Texas/Red Dirt tunes and the stories behind them. You can also find me on the dance floor.