Quantcast
Advertisement
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)

TOP 20: REPUBLIC'S RAMPAGE
Some like it hot. (1/27a)
RCA PRESENTS: THE SAM AND KEITH SHOW
Two at the top. (1/27a)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: THOUGHTS ON A NEW ERA
Eyes on the Prize, 2021 edition (1/27a)
FESTIVAL FALLOUT:
THE GLASTO EFFECT
Festivals wave the caution flag. (1/27a)
POWER HITTERS:
DANIEL NIGRO
He's first in line at the DMV. (1/27a)
RAINMAKERS
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
HOW TO FIND 11,780 VOTES
It's the way all the biggest mob bosses did it.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
Music City
ACM PREVIEW: JON PARDI
3/2/20

In a world of 808s and rapping on the bridges, Jon Pardi rocks twin fiddles, silvery strands of steel guitar and the kind of Telecaster playing that’d make Don Rich or Brent Mason proud. If today’s country leans into integrating pop and hip-hop elements, the toweringly tall country star decided to double down on the California country icons he loves the most—Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens—and let the industrial-strength hardcore country fans fall in as they may.

By the numbers, the 2017 ACM and CMA Best New Artist winner, who’s also logged nominations for Album (California Sunrise, ACM), Song (“Dirt on My Boots,” CMA; Favorite Country Song, American Music Awards) and Single (“Dirt on My Boots,” ACM and CMA) has struck an even greater common chord with his 2019 LP, Heartache Medication. With a collective tally north of 232 million global streams, the staunch cowboy has secured a tech-forward beachhead for defiantly unreconstituted beer-stained honky-tonk.

Every single song on Heartache Medication has racked up millions of streams, starting with the title track at 149m, followed by “Ain’t Always the Cowboy” at 19.5m. From singles to deep tracks, Pardi’s cranking out the high-density sound his fans crave.

It appears that even the tech-savvy hipsters can’t get enough of the mariachi horns on “Tequila Little Time” (7.6m streams), “Don’t Blame It On the Whiskey” featuring Lauren Alaina’s blazing duet vocals (4.5m) or the Alan Jackson/Johnny Cash-style crazy country “Me and Jack” (9.5m). The guy who tore up “My Next Broken Heart” with Brooks & Dunn on their Reboot and is all over Thomas Rhett’s rollicking “Beer Can’t Fix” is experiencing a ripple effect from knowing what he does best and sticking to it—winning Pardi’s 100-proof brand of country some serious fellow-artist fans and a solid platform to work from.

Heartache Medication builds on California Sunrise’s platinum success with a no-bullshit swagger forged on the road. Just as importantly, Pardi is confident in those fans’ desire for country music, ratifying his own instincts and experience. Plugging into a bit of George Strait’s “Fool Hearted Memory,” Pardi is creating a 21st century take on what it means to hang out in beer joints, go four-wheeling, work with your hands, honor the ones who came before and reckon with the kind of Marlboro Man romanticism that owns both losing the girl (“Ain’t Always the Cowboy” “Nobody Leaves a Girl Like That,” 9.1m) and seeking true love (“Starlight,” 4.3m; “Just Like Old Times,” 3.6m).

“I think a lot of these songs and the feeling of this whole record are about moving on, dealing with something maybe sad but knowing the music is going to make you feel good,” Pardi says. “That’s one thing old country had—that attitude of no matter what was going on, people still want to feel good. ‘I don’t want to be sad and lonely, so let’s go out and have a time, party like it’s gonna fix everything.’

“You gotta do something to get out of the trap, which is why we called the album Heartache Medication. I wrote that song a few years ago, but, you know, it’s that feeling we’ve all had and remember.”

It helps when you can pull in Dean Dillon, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert as songwriters, when you can evoke Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson in the sound of your tracks. But even more than his roots and his boots, Jon Pardi has dispensed a potent prescription with his third album—fans can hear how much fun he’s having making this music and singing these songs. Sounds like an Rx that’ll cure whatever ails you.