Seems like the third time’s a charm for Tyler Farr, the rasp-voiced country newcomer whose single “Redneck Crazy” currently sits at a comfortable No. 2 on the Billboard Country Songs chart. His first two singles, “Hot Mess” and “Hello, Goodbye,” both released last year, received only modest airplay attention, but were apparently enough to get him on the radar of a growing group of country fans.
Indeed, Farr’s grit-ridden, guitar-driven, country-rock style is definitely worth some attention. His debut full-length album, bearing the same name as his hit single, is filled with catchy hooks and soul-satisfying, southern-fried guitar work—and having penned half the tunes on it himself, Farr also shows himself to be a solid, radio-friendly lyricist, as well.
While most of us are just getting to know Tyler Farr, he’s actually no stranger to the country scene; in fact, he’s a second-generation industry pro, having grown up the son of George Jones’ lead guitarist, and having already co-written tunes for Joe Nichols and Colt Ford (the latter of whom also makes a guest appearance on Redneck Crazy, on the cut “Chicks, Trucks and Beer”). This album, along with the singles that preceded it (which are all included on the album), simply represent Farr’s first dive with both feet into the country music limelight as a performing solo artist. So far, it bodes well for him.
Actually, the title of that one cut, “Chicks, Trucks and Beer,” represent the one possible flaw in Farr’s strategy. (Regular readers probably already know where I’m going with this.) Modern country has been leaning far too heavily recently on the three themes mentioned in this song title; frankly, that market is more than cornered by the likes of Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Blake Shelton, and by treading too much on this lyrical territory, Farr runs the risk of getting lost in the pack. The thing that might redeem him from possible obscurity, however, is the album’s title track. There’s a reason why “Redneck Crazy” is headed for the top of the charts, and it has nothing to do with girls and trucks. It’s not unfamiliar territory, but its dark, slightly obsessive theme is a fresh, edgy take on the theme of heartbreak, and comes across as very accessible and personable. If Farr could balance his partying, honky-tonk vibe with a few more tunes like this one, his niche in country music could be almost assured.
At the very least—if you’re a fan of modern country, Tyler Farr deserves to be on your radar.