When you hear the phrase "son of a" in a country song, the words that follow don't usually go like this: "You're a son of a momma / You're a son of a dad / Who will never stop loving you and being there / And giving you everything they have." This expert flip is exactly what makes Dillon Carmichael's latest single, "Son of A," so clever.

The track is sparse on production flourishes. Instead, Carmichael's warm, gritty vocals are given the spotlight, backed by understated guitar and fiddle. This arrangement lends itself well to the storytelling — and genuine gratitude — at the heart of the track.

Meanwhile, the verses tell a story that's familiar, with a father and son fighting in a way that teenage years will always provoke. The song opens with Carmichael singing, "I called him everything under the sun / Kinda under my breath and when I was done / Slammed my bedroom door / Did some stompin' around on my bedroom floor." 

In the verses to come, we get a taste of the father's tough love: Barging into his son's room, taking the car keys and playing the old my-house-my-rules card. Before we hear the chorus for the first time, it's framed by these words from the father to his boy: "And I've got some things I wanna call you too."

It's then that the song works its sentimental magic. Instead of getting an earful, he gets an emotional declaration of familial love.

Carmichael — who is the real-life nephew of Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery and John Michael Montgomery — wrote "Son of A" with Casey Beathard and Phil O'Donnell. In addition to being the second single off of Carmichael's sophomore album, it's the title track: Son of A, the album, was released on Oct. 22.

Right now, Carmichael is out on the road and will be until March 11. He's making stops in St. Louis, Raleigh and New Orleans, among others.

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