I’m So Country by Freddy Weller: Brief Bio & Song Review
Guitarist, songwriter, and Nashville legend Freddy Weller had a successful behind-the-scenes career in pop/rock before finding solo success as a country singer. Born in Atlanta in 1947, he started playing both banjo and mandolin at age eight and soon moved on to the guitar as well. He later became a regular session guitarist in the area, most notably playing on Billy Joe Royal’s 1965 hit “Down in the Boondocks”; while in Royal’s touring band, Weller met Paul Revere & the Raiders, who offered him their lead guitar slot in 1967.
Freddy Weller spent the next six years as a member of the Raiders, and in 1969 he worked with pop singer Tommy Roe in a songwriting capacity, co-writing the smash hits “Dizzy” and “Jam Up Jelly Tight.” His version of Joe South’s “Games People Play” went to number two on the country charts that year; moreover, the follow-up single, South’s “These Are Not My People,” reached number five.
In 1971, he scored three straight Top Five hits on the country charts with “Another Night of Love,” “Indian Lake,” and “The Promised Land.” Weller then reached the country Top 20 with songs he either wrote or co-wrote: “The Roadmaster,” “She Loves Me (Right Out of My Mind),” and “The Perfect Stranger.” Weller departed the Raiders to focus on his solo career in 1973.
He also penned Bob Luman’s country smash “Lonely Women Make Good Lovers” in 1972, and it was later covered for another hit by Steve Wariner. Weller’s final Top Ten hit was a 1973 cover of Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business,” and he reached the Top 20 twice more in 1974 with “I’ve Just Got to Know (How Loving You Would Be)” and “You’re Not Getting Older (You’re Getting Better).” In the ’80s he supplied material to stars like Reba McEntire, John Michael Montgomery, and George Jones, among others.
After releasing Your Memory Walks Through Walls in 2010, Freddy now returns with “I’m So Country”. It is a mellow, laid back track with dryly humorous lyrics that shows Freddy’s songwriting skills and singing are as good as they ever were. It begins with a short spoken word intro that good humouredly mocks the current trend for country songs that contain the word ‘country’ in the title.
The verse then wittily describes how these songs seem to focus on ‘how country they are’ with Freddy concluding “if that’s what you gotta say to get some radio play, I’ll be so country I could shoot myself!“. He delivers these great words in his distinctive, authentic voice aided by a simple but effective musical backing, with nice flourishes of guitar.
After the catchy middle eight, the music modulates and in the last verse Freddy aims a shot at record companies’ obsession with youth: “the labels would sign ’em as soon as they’re born, if they wait they might get too damn old…“. You can imagine him smiling as he sing the last lines, “country’s still the greatest….but how many times can we take that word?“.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable, gently satirical song that pokes light-hearted fun at the current state of the country music scene, and it’s one that his fans will love. To still be writing great tracks like this, after so many years in the industry, shows why Freddy Weller truly is a Nashville legend.
Listen to the No Bull Radio Network to hear Freddy Weller’s new song, “I’m So Country“!
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