One Day Closer-Jeff Bates (Black River Music)

It’s not a happy record and it fits the national mood like a surgeon’s glove. I get to talk to a lot of people, a lot of strangers and whenever the conversation strays from the initial subject that sparked the converstation, they invariably start shaking their heads and sayin’ what a freakin’ mess this nation’s in. I talked with two different people this week already who are packin’ up and moving across country, looking for work. One is going from the east coast to California, the other going from California to Texas. I talked with a guy who’s living in the South and said he’s glad of it because his electricity is off, couldn’t pay the bill. At least down here it’s not so cold. A couple of extra shirts and a jacket’ll get you by. Hate to think what it’d be like if I was back up North. And these are smart, educated and hard working people. Without them guv’ment fudged figures, we’re sitting on a true unemployment rate of twenty percent now. One out of five. If we look behind the happy-talk, head-in-the-sand PR machine that masquerades as network news, there are stories everywhere about families living in their cars and people with advanced degrees dumpster-diving for food. I’m not off on some random tangent here, this song relates to all of that. The very first line, Why do bad things happen to good people is precisely what so many of our listeners are asking themselves every day. I don’t like to play depressing records, they don’t have long legs and we’re in the entertainment business. But this is an honest and true Country song. I think hearing it a few times, at least, will maybe comfort folks, hearing it and knowing it’s not just them that’s on the ropes and thinking such thoughts.

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