Country outlaw Shooter Jennings and one-time ‘American Idol’ contestant Bucky Covington make an odd marriage, but on ‘Drinking Side of Country,’ their voices and styles compliment each other like bar stool buddies telling the same story. They may be too similar, in fact, as it’s difficult to tell who’s who during parts of the rowdy rolling cut from Covington’s upcoming album. 

Both men are casual with their dirt road deliveries. Jennings has worked the outlaw style on recent albums (let’s be honest, it’s in his blood), while Covington is exploring new territory. It’s a good fit.

“We roll, we roll / We roll down the highway / On the drinking side of country / Like some old ramblers on the run,” the men sing during the chorus. There’s chemistry between the two long-haired country boys from very different backgrounds.

‘Drinking Side of Country’ reminds us of two things: Bucky Covington has range beyond the feel-good, mushy radio singles he released with Lyric Street, and radio would sound better with Shooter Jennings. But the son of Waylon seems about as agreeable to playing Nashville politics as the son of Hank Williams Jr., so it seems this is as close as we’ll get.

So we went up to Detroit, took some country to the city / Like some old hillbilly tourists, I guess we look real silly / Cause they were laughin’ at us man ’til we fired up the band said / You hicks are pretty slick, so then we jammed and then we split,” the men sing, sharing lyrics like a pack of cigarettes on a drive through the desert.

The fusion of electric guitar and banjo over a rolling drum beat draws one into the song, but the lyrics fail to satisfy. This story rambles from one city to the next without leaving an impression or striking a memorable image of any of the bars or women they visit — except for maybe the redhead. Covington wrote the song with his brother Rocky… and it could be better.

A brunette from Minnesota drinking / Jim Beam and cola /  Kept buying wild shots / She was trying to get him drunk,” Covington sings before the last verse. Clumsy pacing isn’t enough to slow down his and Jennings’ mojo, however. Perhaps one could even argue that the story matches the alcohol-fueled message the singers bring to the song.

Listen to Bucky Covington feat. Shooter Jennings, ‘Drinking Side of Country’