I’ll never forget playing in the Little League state baseball championship when I was 11-years-old, throwing long toss in the outfield and getting ready for the biggest (and still is the biggest) baseball game of my life.
At that time, my playlist only consisted of Def Leppard, Boston (because the two rock bands didn’t really have tattoos or cuss in their music), and contemporary Christian music, so I’ll admit that my music catalog was not very diverse.
However, I’ll never forget warming up in that outfield grass the summer of 2009 in Easley, South Carolina, when all of a sudden I heard a song that would truly open my eyes to how good country music is…
At that moment, I knew I was at least gonna draw a walk or two and catch a flyball in right field that game. I was PUMPED.
I’ll admit, this song is bro-country to its core, ahead of its bro-country time, and in this rare instance, that’s what makes everything about this song great.
Written by Brad Crisler and Craig Wiseman, “Hillbilly Deluxe” was the fourth single and the title-track of the duo’s 2005 album, which features other hits like “Play Something Country,” “Believe,” and more.
I mean c’mon, you can recognize this intro from anywhere:
“Well, up in the backwoods, down in the holler
Old boy feeling like a dog on a collar…”
Many may label this song as an early example of “bro-country,” which is a very fair argument considering ol’ Ronnie and Kix sing about “slick pick up trucks,” “small towns,” “country girl cuddled up,” and “Saturday night,” but in comparison to the peak “bro-country” era of 2013 and 2014 (looking at you Florida Georgia Line), nobody can hold a candle to this.
Throw in a kickass electric guitar solo, lyrics that anybody who grew up in a small southern town can relate to, and the badass vocals of Ronnie Dunn, and this may be the greatest redneck “bro-country” songs of all time.
And if you haven’t heard this one, do yourself a favor: