OFFSTAGE: George Strait’s New “Drinkin'” Song

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

Now that George Strait’s “Drinkin’ Man,” which he co-wrote, is on country radio, all I can think is that it’s about time. Strait’s tune, like Kenny Chesney’s “That’s Why I’m Here,” is about an alcoholic trying to quit. Which is, as he says five times in the song, a hell of a lot to ask of a drinkin’ man.

As sad as this song is, I love it because it is the antithesis of most of today’s country music. The music that paints the picture that all anyone ever does is wait until Friday night rolls around and then jump in the truck and head out for cold beer, some Crown and/or some Jack.

And while Strait’s song doesn’t have a happy ending like Chesney’s 1998 hit did — because the man in “That’s Why I’m Here” actually does start going to those meetings down at the Y after years of letting the devil take his hand — I still think it’s worth a listen.

Even if you aren’t the drinkin’ man, we all know someone who is. And if you are married to that man, I recommend listening to Martina McBride’s tragic “When You Love a Sinner.”