On Friday I drove to Cutter's Smokehouse in Eudora to eat some french fries but mostly to see my brother Marc perform with his band, Hit or Miss. This is their Farewell Tour. One of the last chances to hear them sing,
"Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, give me whiskey...give me whiskey..... Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, whiskey, give me whiskey...give me whiskey.....It's what I want. It's what I need. It's what I want. It's what I need. Give me whiskey. Give me whiskey."
It's the single-mindedness that makes this song so fun to sing. It's got the same plain-spoken resolve of Merle Haggard's "I think I'll just stay here and drink."
Some drinking songs are more fanciful, attributing magical powers to their elixirs. George Straight sings about his "80-proof bottle of tear-stopper" like it's something he bought from the medicine show. It not only gets the red out, he says. It helps him "take command." For the singer of UB40, "Red red wine makes him feel so grand, he feels a million dollars when it's just in his hand."
But the best drinking songs don't explain themselves or make excuses. Dwight Yoakam's, "Since I started drinking again," is freewheelin' because it's way past regret. The boss is about to fire him, and the neighbors are all a'talkin', but he does not give a damn. Onward and downward!
As it turned out, I was not able to hear "Whiskey." Out of the blue, it started snowing to beat the band, and beat the band it did, because it compelled me to turn tail and head for home before the roads got bad. The band's not called "Hit or Miss" for nothing.
But I was told by a reliable source that the Farewell Tour will probably be followed by a Reunion Tour, followed by a Comeback Tour, followed by a CD Release Tour, followed by.....