Randy’s Song Review: Rednecks by Shane Barnhill
Rednecks Official Video Below
Shane Barnhill is a country singer/songwriter hailing from Baytown, Texas. He was raised in a musical family, with his father also a guitarist and songwriter. Shane picked up the guitar at nine and performed his first gig at only fourteen. Balancing his music career with his day job as a firefighter/paramedic, he has given many live performances, and has opened for Deryl Dodd, Wade Bowen, Charlie Robison and Todd Fritsch.
He has now recorded three albums, with the first one Just Getting Started released in 2007. He followed up with Outlaw Angels and Country Nights in 2011, and had big success on Texas radio with Still Sexy To Me, Two Lovers In The Night and Turn It Up. For his third album, Country Lovin’, he worked with Jason Rooks and Bobby Terry as producers and they are the writers of this song Rednecks, which is the first track on that album.
Rednecks immediately grips the listener with an arresting introduction, featuring a rocky guitar riff and a pulsating, pounding beat. The sound is most definitely country rock, breaking down to a thudding kick and throbbing bass for the verse, keeping the momentum going. Shane’s strong, charismatic voice then captivates the attention, with the full beat returning for the second half of the verse.
Lyrically, this song rails against the pejorative stereotype that many associate with the word ‘redneck’. Rather than use the word as a demeaning insult, the first verse depicts rednecks as down-to-earth, helpful people, bailing some city folks out of trouble after running out of gas. This leads to a short bridge before the catchy chorus celebrates “hicks from the sticks…. there ain’t a problem we can’t fix…”.
The chorus has an unexpected second section based on an ascending guitar line that lifts the music even more, with the lines “If you’re in a jam and you need a hand, someone who’s really gonna give a damn….then your best bet is rednecks…”. The second verse continues the theme, interspersed with some nice lead guitar lines. After the second chorus is a short rocky section with some great dynamics, adding a bit more musical variety before driving home the last chorus.
Overall, this is a very well written and performed song that takes a familiar derogatory term and cleverly turns the meaning upside down, so that it becomes a positive, celebratory anthem. Shane Barnhill does a fine job vocally and it’s a perfect taster for his third album Country Lovin’. He already has a large fanbase and it will only increase with every new release, especially radio-friendly songs like this.
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