Maybe I’m taking American Idol themes too literally, but this week’s was “I’m With the Band.” And Dexter Roberts, the only country singer left in the Top 9, did Little Big Town’s “Boondocks” on Wednesday night (March 26).
Don’t get me wrong. I love that one. It was the band’s debut hit in May 2005 from their The Road to Here album. That tune immediately showcased the four-part harmonies the band is so good at. But wouldn’t their song “I’m With the Band” have been even more perfect for Roberts? That was the first single off Little Big Town’s 2007 album A Place to Land, and, in my opinion, was one of their most truthful and revealing songs.
But I guess Roberts chose well because he ended up safe for another week. (Majesty Rose was eliminated.)
Roberts can certainly relate to life in the boondocks. He lives in Alabama, works on a farm, trains dogs and fights fires. And he must be handy with tools, too, because during his performance he was wearing a chain with two hex nuts on it as a necklace.
Keith Urban, who was singing along during Roberts’ performance, told him he had something special in his voice.
“If Little Big Town hadn’t recorded that song, and it had been given to you, and you’d sung that just like that, I thought it would have been a hit on country radio,” he said. “What I want to see now is another side of you. Give us something we haven’t seen yet.”
Harry Connick Jr. didn’t love it quite as much.
“Unless you bring your own stamp to (songs), they’re gonna end up sounding generic,” he said. “You have to find a way to make these songs your own.”