The Best Singles of 2009: John Rich - "Shuttin' Detroit Down" (#24)

When this song was released, the man and ego were separated from the country singer and it provided us with a great 'protest' song from John Rich.  This song became one of our favorites immediately upon release and has stayed in our minds all year long.

Sometimes there are no better words to describe why this song is on our Best of 2009 list than the words I wrote in February about "Shuttin' Detroit Down."

Once a staple of Country radio, protest songs have lost favor at country radio as the stations instead play a plethora of songs about whispering sweet nothings. So the fact that radio is actually spearheading the release of “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” is an interesting development as the John Rich song is not only topical, it’s a Country protest song. It’s also lyrically leagues ahead of “Another You,” the single seemingly being pushed aside by radio. Not only do the lyrics speak about the current economic crisis but the melody is also traditional-country based with steel guitars, fiddles, banjos and mandolins guiding the melody instead of bombastic guitars, drums and string sections.

With a chorus that gets to the heart of the matter, John Rich has crafted a song that about the people and for the people. It is a song that crosses all kinds of audiences and speaks to anyone who’s lost their job or fears that the economy may just take their job away. With "Shuttin' Detroit Down," John Rich not only has gotten himself on the radio, he's got himself a song that should generate single and album sales and it actually is the kind of song the audience wants hear.  This proves, once and for all, what the Country music genre can and should be:  the voice of the people, not just another adult contemporary radio station.