Jon Pardi has officially made it to the big leagues of country music with the news that his hit song "Dirt on My Boots" is nominated for Song of the Year in the 2017 CMA Awards. There are some valid reasons why the song should win.
Pardi has been a real breakout artist in the genre over the past several years, scoring his first No. 1 hit in 2015 with "Head Over Boots" and following it up with "Dirt on My Boots." He's also hit with "Heartache on the Dance Floor," and his brand of traditional-yet-modern feel-good country really sets him apart from most of the younger artists in country music.
Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure and Ashley Gorley teamed to write "Dirt on My Boots," and if the song wins, they will share a cross-generational win for a song that crosses borders.
Pardi is nominated in two categories in the 2017 CMA Awards. Not only is "Dirt on My Boots" nominated for Song of the Year, Pardi is nominated for New Artist of the Year as well, marking the first CMA Awards nominations of his career. Read on to find out why he deserves to win, and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below.
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There's no other song in country music that sounds quite like "Dirt on My Boots." Pardi has said the demo leaned more toward hip-hop, and in making the song more country, he's created a strikingly original track. The music to "Dirt on My Boots" is a unique blend of influences that's almost cinematic, like it's part of the soundtrack to a modernized, urbanized remake of an old spaghetti Western. Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure and Ashley Gorley are from different generations and bring very different influences together for the song.
The nominees for Song of the Year tend to lean more toward songs with bigger themes, and that often means that serious-minded ballads have a better chance. There's nothing wrong with that, but country music is all about fun, too, and Pardi's song could bring a much-needed sense of fun to the proceedings in 2017.
Relatability is at the core of every great country song, and "Dirt on My Boots" doesn't talk down to listeners. Its story of a simple working man taking his girl out for a night on the town is universal and accessible.
Pardi Is a Traditionalist
Everyone's always complaining about how traditional country music is dead. Well, this year it's nominated. Pardi is part of a new wave of young artists who take their cues from more traditional country music. He's a hat act, and even though "Dirt on My Boots" isn't the most strictly traditional thing in his repertoire, Pardi is the kind of artist true country fans ought to be supporting.
It's the Best of Old Meets New
Pardi is a traditionalist with a twist. Though he's got his feet planted in the history of the country genre, he's also got an eye out for the future. He and songwriters Akins, Frasure and Gorley struck a perfect balance with "Dirt on My Boots," a song that perfectly encapsulates this moment in country music.