Jade Rutledge

“Didn’t Come Here To Count ‘em” is the latest single from Austin, Texas-based folk/country rock band The Best Around. The song begins with Ian Romano drum-line, counting along in anticipation of the drumbeat he will play, and then we’re hit with clean guitars and vocals that almost feel like spoken words. It’s noticeably a strong quality of singer-songwriter Camron Rushin. Another thing you notice off the bat is the presence of a lovely trombone and some kind of organ(played by multi-instrumentalist Jon Merz) that accompanies the chorus’ melody and sets the tone and atmosphere of the comical nature of the instances that our song’s main character is facing. 

The song feels like it’s a short sketchy piece of banter or a story that you could overhear at a bar or maybe even witness. It’s simply about a guy who gets caught by his wife while getting drunk and when she asks him how much he had to drink replies: “I didn’t come here to count ‘em I came to drink ‘em”. And a similar instance occurs again when he drives into a Police ambush by mistake and is questioned by the officer. He’s then taken to a “Clink” to stand in front of a judge. 

This is probably one of the many reasons this band identifies themselves as “Outlaw Rock” and it’s just an amazing and accurate depiction.

In the last verse, he speaks to the judge in a very formal and poetic way, I loved the line “Stood me before a judge, nothing would make him budge”. This is followed by what feels like a musical battle between the trombone and the organ soloing one after the other to close this fun ride we just had.

The additional instruments and the formal lyrics were not something I expected to be honest, but having little quirks and gimmicks like these makes you believe in a band and love their level of characterization and storytelling to put you in the mood and make you visualize what’s happening. It’s a song I’ll probably play regularly in my car and I’ll probably be looking for more similar material coming from these immensely talented dudes.

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