Kountry Korral
with Mr. Midnight

Ricky Van Shelton: Backroads

I'm wonderin if awl tha misry an longin an heart rendin sorra isn't tha Allmighty's way a bringin us out ta bloom in a deep, vibrant fullness a life an livin? Out there callin in tha dark, lost continents inside yesself thar's some sort a cruel authenticity; rape, loss a things you'd rather keep, deep human agony, bein beaten an whipped like an animal: these are tha mothers a that authenticity. Ah runned away from home when Ah's 8 years a age; wanderin down state routes that bordered Wayne National Forest til Ah got pict up by a feller drivin a turquoise 92 Pontiac Sunfire. He ast me if Ah'd er sat down ta a picknick lunch afore? Ah tol him truly at I han't an he says Ah won't harly blieve it but he has awl the fixins to make one. Would Ah lahk that? Yeah, at'll be fine. He pult onta a liddle gravel road an started settin us up a place ta eat in a clearin in the woods. Ah was eatin a peanut butter sanwich an gram crackers an drinkin a Ski soder wahl he watcht me an smoket a cigrette. As Ah was finishin he scootcht closer, put his hand on mah left thigh an ast if Ah ever heart anybody make a duck call afore? Ah han't. He did a duck call an then sevral others. Then he ast me if Ah'd ever seen an owl's nest? Ah han't. He took me by my hand to a grove a evergreen trees an when we was hidden from man and God he carrest mah face an gently pult my britches down. He tol me if Ah hollert or tol a soul he'd break erry bone in mah fuckin body so just layet thar on the forest floor an learnt to bear the pain. Ah know it musta made me differnt an other people but when Ah have occasion to look round at my fellow creatures who're sleepwalkin, half lovin, lukewarm an bout to be spewet from the mouth a Christ, I'm kindly thankful ta be outside a awl that even when Ah'm grievously afflicted an callin out in that dark night fer salvation. Mos people don't even know they need to be saved. At's a terrble fate. Would ye blieve what was playin in mah head when he was laceratin me? Ricky Van Shelton's "Backroads" album. Might jus as well talk bout it since at's sposet ta mah job. Tha second track "Rockin Chair" is a duet with none other'n Dolly Parton who Ah have a perty deep affection fer. It's bout this ol feller who finds his wife dead in the back yard from a stroke or somethin. He brings her inta tha kitchen an starts hackin her up like a butcher. Peels off tha skin, dresses her up an puts some a her prize meat in a skillet; sits down an has him one helluva meal. "Some Things Are Better Left Alone" features a singin saaw an some hillbilly hittin a dead piece a livestock with a mallet fer percussion. With his spooky operatic voice Van Shelton sings bout watchin this liddle gal sittin down at tha dinner table swallerin razor blades, stones from tha crick, animal bones, doll hair and digital watches; eatin ravenously an then callin fer more as though her hunger could ne'er be satiated. "After The Lights Went Out" is unusual fer Van Shelton. I ne'er known him ta sing bout profane relations tween a man an woman but thisun really don't pull no punches. The woman ties is feller to tha bed an starts whippin his balls with a chain whal he hollers out in ecstatic pain. She pulls her panties down an pisses on his chest whal he wriggles an tries ta escape that burnin stream a waste. I wonder if mah hero Randy Travis hisself mighta pennt thatun fer Van Shelton? Anyways, go on back ta yer lost and lonesome lives; if ye need me Ah'll be out thar in tha night tryin ta find someone ta hurt me lahk Ah need ta be hurt.