John Rich - "Country Done Come To Town"

It's far to easy to hate on John Rich lately.  After all, since the popular duo Big & Rich went on a recording hiatus, it seems that Rich has turned up his swagger quite a bit.  Does his latest single continue this swagger or does it move Rich towards a quieter status?

It's far too easy to hate on John Rich lately. After all, ever since Big & Rich went on hiatus, it's seemed as if Rich has turned his swagger up to eleven (just take a look at Mt. Richmore). But behind the glitz and glamour that he projects, Rich is still a hot producer and songwriter in Nashville, both for other artists and for himself. His latest solo offering, "Country Done Come to Town," may be flashy and glitzy, but at the same time, it's a solid testament to Rich's artistic abilities, solo or otherwise. 

It's not that hard to guess what "Country" is about based on its title: country boy comes to the big city to have a party... and that's really about it. What does come as a bit of a surprise is how, not unlike "Hillbilly Bone," it manages to prove that — at least when it comes to having fun — those guys in Gucci shoes can match the country boys. Rich is in fine voice, eliminating most of his occasional wispy tendencies and matching quite nicely to his own emphatic, guitar-heavy production (although a shot of Big Kenny certainly wouldn't hurt). Overall, the song succeeds in projecting an air of fun without being forced or strident. Even better is the video, which offers plenty of babes in bikinis alongside cameos from Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy, Two-Foot Fred, George Jones, and Big Vinny of Trailer Choir. And a goat. And a pig. And girls fighting in a kiddie pool full of creamed corn. 

John Rich may be one of the more polarizing (and occasionally pandering) figures in country music of late, but when he's not trying too hard, he is still a rock-solid recording artist and songwriter. It may not be a turbo-charged ear worm along the lines of "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" or "Comin' to Your City," but "Country Done Come to Town" is still some darn fine ear candy, and a perfect addition to summertime playlists.