OFFSTAGE: Getting to Know Jason Aldean by Heart

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I have a bit of a love/hate/love thing going on with Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem.” I love the beginning of the tune when he opens the song like it’s a sexy summer-love ballad and he’s chillin’ on a dirt road. But then I hate his obvious reference to drinking while he’s driving (“ice cold beer sittin’ in the console”). But then, I love it again because he’s motivating teenagers all over the country to memorize the two 30-second rap parts of the song. It’s no easy task. And that has to be good for maintaining good study skills, right? Now, granted, once they learn it, they are reciting lines about jumping barbed wire, Jack (Daniel’s) and Jim (Beam), boys in blue and in general, raising hell. But they are still using their minds to learn this song by heart. They are doing it in houses, cars, beaches, backyards and on Facebook. Not just my teenagers, mind you, but all of them. The song is the No. 1 country digital download right now, and I think the efforts of the teen demo are a big part of that. And while I doubt any teachers will be thrilled to learn the content of the song, I do think that come September, they’ll just be glad the students boosted their brain power while they were off.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.