100 Best Drinking Songs – Part 3 of 10
Accompanied by just acoustic guitar on this surprisingly tender song from 1981's 'The Pressure Is On,' Williams solemnly realizes that if his running wild days are going to continue, he's going to either have to do it alone or find a new group of drinking buddies. The 1994 rock follow-up: Allman Brothers, 'No One To Run With.' Modern day follow-up: Dierks Bentley, 'Am I the Only One .'
For their 1982 duets album 'A Taste of Yesterday's Wine,' Merle Haggard and George Jones covered the title track from Willie Nelson's 1971 solo album and took it to No. 1 on the country charts. The pair are surprised to see an old friend from out of town pop up at one of their favorite drinking holes, but apparently not impressed enough to spring for a new bottle of wine.
The headline track from 1967's immodestly titled 'The Party's Over and Other Great Willie Nelson Songs' seems, at first, to be just another late night “you don't have to go home, but you have to get the hell out of here” screed. But, deeper problems are soon revealed. Turns out Willie's need to be at a different party every night have caused his girl to send him out for good.
A brand-new addition to our list, this song is the first taste of newcomer Bradley Gaskin's upcoming debut album. He was discovered by John Rich of Big and Rich, and has been wowing industry folk and fans alike with 'Mr. Bartender,' his down-and-out tale of a broken heart and the cure he's currently seeking from his local barkeep.
Buck Owens and his awesomely named band the Buckaroos spent three weeks at No. 1 back in 1967 with this loving tribute to their favorite bar. It sounds pretty much like a local TV commercial, but who can blame them? Sam's is just down the street, starts jumping every evening, the girls always have big smiles on their faces, and they've got a swinging band!
Apparently Daryle Singletary lives in the no-dancing-allowed town where 'Footloose' was set, because on this song from his 1985 self-titled debut album, he tells of being pulled over by the sheriff for having 'Too Much Fun.' How can that be, he asks — it's like being too rich, too handsome or too lucky! Can a girl be too pretty? (This is getting pretty deep, huh?)
On this Mexican-flavored tribute to lazy vacation days by the seashore from 2008's 'The Foundation,' Zac Brown finds himself with his toes in the water in the sand, a cold beer in his hand and not a worry in the world. Luckily for him, even though the trip ends, he realizes he can recreate the most important part of this trip — the peace of mind — at home as well.
Apparently, adult contemporary songwriter James Taylor wasn't always this dull. He wrote the title track to country legend Jones' 1978 album, and whether it's his words or George's delivery, you can feel the pain and pathos in the life of a bartender who watches people dealing, sometimes poorly, with difficult lives, as he works hard to hold onto his own sanity.
This single from the Dixie Chicks second album, 1999's 'Fly,' may not be directly set in a bar, as it deals with an abusive husband who gets his ultimate comeuppance in the form of poisoned black eyed peas from his wife and her friend. But it's a jukebox favorite, and if these ladies are willing to go to such lengths, we're not going to deny them a place at he bar.
Indie rocker Jack White introduced the fabulous Mrs. Lynn to a whole new audience by first covering her songs with his band the White Stripes, and then producing her 2004 album 'Van Lear Rose.' Lynn returns the favor by sharing the microphone (and an outrageously high bar tab) with her young disciple on this wide-screen epic of a modern drinking song.