Colter Wall, a baby faced 24 year old hailing from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, is a beacon of hope for fans of real country music. His voice sounds like that of a seasoned veteran belting out for a loved one. The way he picks his guitar, while not anything special, is a reminder of what country music should be, simple and strong. Although he isn’t southern by birth, or by any measure, he gives Southerners some true anthems.
“Johnny Boy’s Bones,” from Wall’s album Imaginary Appalachia is a rousing and striking tune sang from the perspective of a woman who lost a male relative in the Civil War. This song, along with many others, shows Wall’s fondness towards the plight of the Southern people, and all ruralites at that. He manages to connect through his life on the Canadian planes, which aren’t culturally far from Dixie.
Colters most recent project, Songs of The Planes, is more traditional than his other work, though not always by much. “Thinking on a Woman” delivers a classic, non-pussified, drinking song for Southern men. “The Trains Are Gone” is a quick little tune about the economic change (and possibly social change) that comes to rural white communities over the years.
It is clear that Colter’s story is genuine, a young man raised in a place not too different from the hills of Appalachia or piney woods of east Texas. This truthfulness is something that died long ago in modern country, giving way for the artificial music pushed by Nashville. Country music, at it’s heart, is the music of rural North American WASPs, it is our heritage and the soundtrack of our existence. I can’t say that Colter cares about white advocacy, but it is obvious that he cares about other issues important to us, folk, family, blood and soil.
In closing, it is important for us to recognize artists who channel the spirit of Dixie in their work. Every people has their traditional folk music, and ours is country. If we let that die we are losing one of the foundational components of our culture. Take Eric Church off your playlist and add a little Colter Wall.
Oh, I'm a good old Rebel, now that's just what I am; For this "Fair Land of Freedom" I do not give a damn! I'm glad I fit against it, I only wish we'd won, And I don't want no pardon for anything I done.