There are those pieces of music and those music videos that stop you in your tracks and remind you the difference a song can make in the course of your day. And leave it to a country music legend to give us the perfect example of that phenomenon via his new song, “I Drink.”
“‘I Drink’ was written by one of my favorite songwriters, Mary Gauthier – she lived it,” country music legend Bobby Bare recently told “Rolling Stone” in an interview about the poignant song and video about the impact of addiction. “It’s a heart-wrenching story of alcoholism and the affect it can have on a family. I am proud of the depiction of the song through this video and hope it will sincerely touch people. If you’re struggling, get help, it could save your family and your life. I recommend AA as a starting point.”
If the song sounds familiar to you, it could be because you have heard those devastating lyrics sung by artists such as Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw, both of whom have recorded it in the past. However, Bobby’s gravelly-sounding voice injects the song with an emotion that is undeniable, whether alcoholism has touched you personally or not. The video puts pictures to the words of the tearjerker, showing random images of families experiencing the battle of alcoholism firsthand, along with people who are going through it themselves.
The song is included on Bobby’s album, “Things Change,” which the Country Music Hall of Fame member released in 2016. The album also includes a duet with none other than fellow country vocal powerhouse Chris Stapleton.
Not bad for a guy who has had a 60-year-long career within country music via hits such as “Detroit City,” “500 Miles Away From Home” “Miller’s Cave,” “Four Strong Winds,” “(Margie’s at) the Lincoln Park Inn,” “Daddy What If” and the No. 1 hit “Marie Laveau.”
The record also includes Bobby’s covers of songs from Max T. Barnes, Guy Clark and “I Drink” songwriter Mary Gauthier. Mary has had her own battles with alcohol, resulting in a DUI that propelled her to get sober and focus on music such as her latest album, “Rifles & Rosary Beads,” which is set for release on Jan. 26.
And once again, we are reminded how important songs that tackle true and real subjects are within the history of country music as a whole. These are the stories so many are living, and the stories we will never forget.
And in case you were wondering, Bobby will turn 83 years old this April and is still on the road playing music all across the U.S. to fans who can’t get enough of his traditional country voice.
Let that sink in a little bit.