I know what I’m going to tell Mickey Guyton after hearing this song: That she’s a fucking superstar.
We heard a lot of new music coming out of Country Radio Seminar last week, including new music from Eric Church and Sam Hunt. But this one from Mickey Guyton might just top all of them.
Mickey Guyton is clearly one of the most underrated artists in country music right now. And that’s a damn shame. I would put her voice up against pretty much anybody in the industry, any day of the week. She’s that good. But it’s not just her voice that sets her apart from everybody else in country music: Her poignant songwriting puts her in a class all her own.
Case in point: “What Are You Gonna Tell Her,” a brutally honest gut check that reminds us of the struggles that women still face – not just in country music, but in life as a whole. And where could be more fitting to debut this song than at the Ryman Auditorium in front of a bunch of radio industry insiders? At a time when country radio (and let’s be honest, the country music industry as a whole) is facing increased criticism for their marginalization of female artists, Mickey Guyton stands in front of them and forces them to face the uncomfortable reality that many of them are creating.
But what are you gonna tell her When she’s wrong Will you just shrug and say it’s been that way all along? What are you gonna tell her When she figures out That all this time you built her up just so the world could let her down Yeah what do you tell her? What are you gonna tell her?
Now obviously this song, and the struggles that women face on a daily basis, are so much bigger than just getting airplay on country radio. And we’ve had quite a few female empowerment songs in country music these past few years – but none that present us with quite the reality check that Mickey Guyton managed to deliver.
It’ll be interesting to see what country radio does with this song once it’s recorded. Mickey received a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd at the Ryman after her performance. But will that same crowd actually play her song on the radio once it gets to their desk?