I will be honest here for a moment. I am a big music fan. If someone let me, I'd probably be submitting music reviews for Pitchfork instead of baseball articles for The Good Phight. (Though I deeply enjoy that, too.) I guess they don't give those jobs to any regular Joe, though.
But when I found out a few months ago that former Phil Brett Myers was releasing an album, like an actual musical album with vocals and songs and stuff, I was intrigued. This past Tuesday, Backwoods Rebel hit stores everywhere. Okay, maybe it was just iTunes and Spotify.
I listened to Myers' debut album, and cobbled together this review of music that I probably wouldn't have been caught dead listening to at any other time.
The album kicks off with "Freeborn Southern Man," which I'm sure Myers wanted to get a hold of title-wise before Jonathan Papelbon went into the music industry. If you hadn't guessed already, Myers' promotion of the record surrounded the topic of him bringing country back. I was not aware that it had ever left. On the opening track, Myers tells us that he is a "freeborn southern man" and "drinks his beer from aluminum cans." Damn right.
The second track, Kegerator, tells the complete story of Myers' epic post-season at-bat in 2008 against C.C. Sabathia in the NLDS. Just kidding. It talks about Kegerators. Take it away, Brett Myers' official website!
The first single "Kegerator", was leaked on the nationally syndicated radio show "Lex and Terry" , and received huge acclaim from both the hosts and the call in listeners. If this response is any indication, "Backwoods Rebel" will surely resonate well with country and rock fans alike.
I truly don't know where to begin with what I just read, but somewhere, Merle Haggard must be proud.
Let's all be honest here for a second. Myers is just trying to show off as baseball's best musician. Quite frankly, I'm not the biggest country fan, but this has to be better than anything Bronson Arroyo ever tried, no? Bernie Williams' guitar playing can't be that good, right? Barry Zito? Yeah, okay, get back to me some other time, dude. This is Brett Myers' musical world, and we're all just along for the ride.
After "No Pain No Gain," "Country Back" tells us that Brett ain't wearing no skinny jeans. I mean, come on. I think we all knew that already, Brett. You like the deep-south Wranglers, Brett Favre style. America.
This is probably as good a time as any to mention Brett Myers' related artists on Spotify. The list includes Vince Young, Michael Vick, Manny Ramirez, Michael Jordan and Roger Clemens. I'm not entirely sure how the algorithms pulled all that off, but Vince Young on Spotify is an aging white man with a cowboy hat.
Holy cow, is this over yet? I'm all for albums, and I've heard many good ones this year, including great work from Alabama Shakes, Tobias Jesso, Jr. and Natalie Prass just to name a few, but I guess I do kind of get that whole thing about singles dominating these days. Or maybe I'm just listening to an album that isn't the second coming of Exile on Main St.
"I Need a Drink" and "Next Round" have just hit back to back. Brett Myers enjoys drinking, I suppose. Let me just say that I have been eagerly awaiting "Chasing Tail" and "Yoga Pants", both due up next.
"Chasing Tail," somewhat surprisingly, is actually maybe more Metallica than it is Jason Aldean. "Yoga Pants" seems like something John Fogerty might be proud of sonically. Lyrically, as you could guess, is a different story. But, really, who can beat "God Bless the USA and yoga pants?"
And, there it is, the Lynyrd Syknyrd reference that I was waiting for on "Black Creek" in which Brett sings that he "can't wait for the weekend on the creek." Hey, I guess there aren't really any weekends off for a player during baseball season.
The final track, "All I Can Do Is Write About It" has that bring-it-all-home for the night, final song at a concert feel to it. If that is what Brett was going for, I guess we're just going to have to see if he plays any of these songs live. At the moment, I can't seem to find any information about upcoming live shows. Bummer.
So, that's that. Brett Myers, former Phillies pitcher, wrote and recorded a country album. I never thought I'd ever write that sentence. I truly never thought I would actually listen to the album, either. This music isn't my cup of tea, but I'm sure there are people out there who would legitimately enjoy some of the songs on this album, based off the little country that I listen to.
I'm not sure Brett is the next Garth Brooks, Toby Keith or Brad Paisley, but maybe he really does have a life after baseball.