Brad Paisley is gearing up to release his new album, which is expected to come in early 2024, but the album teaser EP is here: Son Of The Mountains: The First Four Tracks.
As this will be Paisley’s first album since 2017, all eyes are on him to see how the album shapes up. One track that drew my eye was “The Medicine Will.”
Paisley took to Instagram teasing the documentary-style music video he released accompanying the single, which addresses the heartbreaking epidemic of drug use in Appalachia.
This is obviously an issue that has been going on for quite some time, and if you follow many artists who come out of Appalachia, they sing of the hardships. The issue has recently been put more in the public eye with the Netflix documentary Painkiller, which highlights the opioid crisis and Purdue Pharma’s role in it.
In 2020, Health in Appalachiapublished an article highlighting the role that opioids have in deaths in Appalachia:
“These patterns are also evident in the Appalachian Region. Existing evidence suggests that residents of Appalachia are more likely to die prematurely than those who live outside of Appalachia.
Among those living in Central Appalachia and in economically distressed counties, those differences are even greater.
While multiple factors contribute to decreasing life expectancy, notable trends in opioid-related deaths significantly contribute to the loss of life in Appalachia.”
With the region being socially secluded and many jobs being blue-collar work, drug use is often the answer for ailments, especially for those in coal mining communities where injured coal miners often turn to opiates. In turn, many good people fall into a toxic cycle of addiction and trying to stay sober.
Through Paisley’s lyrics, he highlights the hardships of this issue while interviewing first responders and victims of the crisis.