The thing about Koe Wetzel is, he’s always gonna tell you the God’s truth when it comes to his music.
He’s become quite a polarizing character in the Texas country music scene and beyond, and just put out his fifth studio album Hell Paso last Friday.
Honestly, it’s a bit more subdued (and somehow possibly even more sad) than some of the stuff on albums like Harold Saul High and Sellout, but I haven’t been able to get enough of it.
For me, the writing and production on this one is way more elevated than on any of his pervious projects, which does a lot for the songs in and of themselves.
But there’s one track in particular that jumped out immediately when I first listened to the album, thanks to some wonderful work from producer Taylor Kimball, that’s full of great Spanish guitar (and a great melody) called “Cabo.”
I talked about it some in my initial post about the record, and said I’d almost put it in the same group with songs like “Sancho,” and “Powerball,” simply for the subject matter alone.
I mean… it is WILD.
So wild, in fact, that I though to myself, ‘There’s no way this is a 1000% true story.’ I was sure there had to be some embellishing going on for dramatic effect, which would make complete sense, because it sounds like it’s straight out of a Hollywood movie script.
A co-write by Koe along with Aaron Raitere and Nicolette Hayford, Koe himself confirmed that everything in the song, which focuses on an insane weekend trip, full of complete and total debauchery, to Cabo, Mexico, is “a million percent true”:
“It’s a million percent true.
I’ve pissed off a lot of girlfriends and wives, but other than that it’s wonderful.”
There ya have it, folks…
And from his comment about pissing off a lot of wives and girlfriends, it sounds like he probably got a few buddies in trouble on this trip, as well… but hey, nobody ever said going on a weekend getaway with Koe meant lounging on the beach sipping margaritas, either.
Yes, this all really happened:
“Reggeaton station playing too damn loud
Senoritas passed out on the couch
Wish I knew a little espanol, so I could tell these bitches to go
Now there’s panties on the lampshade
Mezcal bottle barely half drank
Freaking out the fucking house maid
But everybody likes to get paid
So she fucked me for my money…“
As good and catchy as this song is, I’ve always appreciated Koe’s steadfast authenticity and honesty more than anything else.
He is never afraid to own up to anything he’s ever done, the good, the bad and the ugly, which I think might be more apparent in this collection of songs than anything he’s ever put out.
I’m sure plenty of other musicians and celebrities have gone on similar trips to Cabo, but I only know of one who would openly share all the nitty gritty details and write this little tune about it.
And because of that, I have a feeling it will be a fan-favorite for a long time to come.
And Koe knows that he’s probably not for everybody, but also admitted that, at the end of the day, he just wants to go home and have his grandma cook him breakfast:
“This record is going to get a lot of flack, but it’s going to get a lot of love too. I’m not going to stop.
Hopefully, I go home at some point, kiss my grandma, and she’ll maybe cook me breakfast.
He’s just like us…
And he gets deep into his longing to be back in Texas and feelings of homesickness on another early favorite, “YellaBush Road.”
This one is a stunner: