I saw a conversation on Facebook recently between some friends, regarding Eric Church and his most recent record, Mr. Misunderstood. I won’t screenshot it to protect the identities of the guilty, but the gist was this: that it’s a record that is actually good, for mainstream country, emphasis on “actually.” To be honest, that’s the most boring way to think about music there is – nothing is good or bad just because it’s mainstream, it’s good or bad because it’s good or bad and it’s good or bad because it’s either honest or bullshit. And, newsflash, it’s pretty rare that any music is bullshit, even if it’s spun by some folks in trucker hats on Music Row. You may not like it, but I’d be damned if Brantley Gilbert doesn’t really believe in the songs those wallet chains click to. Say what you want, but the dude is committed.
Anyway, Mr. Misunderstood is a terrific album from any angle, and Luke Dick is one of the reasons – he’s a co-writer on “Kill A Word,” which tested the genre’s limits by questioning our empathy and consciousness through (gasp) language, as well as tracks for Miranda Lambert and Kip Moore. You could credit some of his creativity from an upbringing quite unlike most, spending his first five years in a strip club with his dancer mother, but a mind this weird and wild often comes from a deeper place than simply circumstantial. Just take a look at his band, Republican Hair, which he fronts when not helping some of country’s biggest names shape their songs – it’s punk with an eighties sheen, and if you listen closely enough it’s a damn fun time to draw the lines between songs like “Magic” for Kip Moore and their tune “I Don’t Care.” It’s a fingerprint both malleable and strong, the way the best of them are. Learn more about Luke here.
Catch Republican Hair on Sunday, March 12th, at the grand opening of Scout’s Barbershop‘s new Gulch location. Festivities run from 12 pm – 8 pm and include free cuts, beer from Little Harpeth, Baritsa Parlor Coffee and donuts from Five Daughters, along with a performance from Dick and his band at 7 pm. The new location is 811 Gleaves Street and, truth be told, I have a mighty soft spot for Scout’s. It’s the only place I can go to get my 3-year-old’s hair cut while I drink a beer while chatting with their lovely staff, and that is a wonderful thing indeed. Get a trim, get a blowout, but don’t dare ask for the Mitch McConnell. Shit will get real fast.
To celebrate their new shop and Sunday’s performance, here’s a Nashville 5 from Luke and the only kind of good republican hair, his Republican Hair.
Nashville Five /// Republican Hair