Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show, Ep. 243

Austin talks to a country music star this week
Photo Credit:
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: 243
Run Time: 1:05:50
Guest: Easton Corbin

Summary: Steve Austin jumps onto the tour bus of Easton Corbin, a modern-day country singer of whom Austin is a big fan. Austin is eager to discuss Corbin's music, especially the songs off his new album, About to Get Real. Austin's favorites are "Wild Women and Whiskey" and the simply titled "Yup." Corbin prides himself on playing a brand of country that can be played on modern country radio, but doesn't veer too much into the hip-hop/pop brand that is dominating the landscape. Corbin tells his story of getting a record deal in Nashville, which amounts to knowing a guy who knew a guy. There is much conversation about the music business and how an artist can successfully build an album by releasing singles. Very briefly, Austin and Corbin touch upon their mutual love for fishing and hunting.

Quote of the week: Corbin - "In order to be competitive out there, you gotta be young, you gotta be fresh, you gotta be current. But for me, it's still about keeping the traditional country fibers within that. I feel like my voice definitely lends that to whatever I do. I'd sound like an idiot trying to rap."

Why you should listen: I'll admit that I was skeptical going into this one, as 99% of the modern country guys strike me as vapid and useless. But listening to a few of Corbin's songs and then hearing him talk at length about his musical process ended up being pretty engaging for me, though this might be due to my own experience playing in bands for half of my life. Corbin gives us an intriguing window into the Nashville industry, as he openly discusses how songs are basically submitted to his management by aspiring or established songwriters. He compares searching for songs to an actor trying to find the right script. For those interested in music, this episode is successful at a surprising rate.

Why you should skip it: Once again, Austin gives us an episode with a focus totally away from pro wrestling, which will frustrate some listeners. Austin's lack of musical knowledge shows when he constantly brings up Corbin's songs, and his only real comment on any of them is: "Man, I sure do like that song." As for Corbin, his mere presence will probably turn off those who refuse to acknowledge the existence of modern country. I'll admit to being turned off a few times, like when Corbin refers to his songs as "new product," or how he doesn't get to play guitar onstage as much as he'd like to. Dude, you are your own boss. Play the damn guitar and don't let anyone tell you what to do, you Nashville stooge.

Final Thoughts: We can at least be happy that Austin didn't interview the goofballs from Florida-Georgia Line, or any other nonsensical country act that gets by on their love of drinking Busch Light by the river. Corbin is a relatively inoffensive presence for a podcast - not the most intellectually stimulating guy, but also not so dumb that he can't carry an interview by himself, which is mostly what he has to do since Austin doesn't ask the best questions here. For a window into a world of music you might not normally be receptive to, this episode will be great. But if your general opinion is "Country sucks, I want wrestling," - and that's a perfectly valid opinion - then mosey on the down the road.