Michael Shaw Crafts Hard-Living, Hard-Drinking Story with New Single, “Bad Honky Tonker” [Premiere]

As a songwriter, being able to craft a story is just as impressive as telling one. In a historic log cabin underneath a Montana night sky, Michael Shaw painted a picture of a cowboy set to hit the town, and now, he’s letting everyone in on the story with his new single, “Bad Honky Tonker.”

Serving as the final single from his forthcoming album He Rode On, set for release on June 3rd, “Bad Honky Tonker” releases on May 20th, but Pro Country is honored to premiere the track a day early!

Sounding as if it was plucked directly off of a Dwight Yoakam album of yesteryear, Shaw says he laughed the night away hyperbolically crafting “Bad Honky Tonker.”

“‘Bad Honky Tonker’ was written while working at Glacier National Park as a NPS backcountry ranger. My home was a remote 15’ by 18’ one room historic log cabin built in the 1930’s, located thirteen miles inside the park. Without cell service or television or much social life, it was clean country living with minimal distraction. As a balance to the seclusion and solitude of my life in the woods, I occasionally needed a night on the town where the bourbon flowed like a mountain stream. ‘Bad Honky Tonker’ is an exaggerated expression of the anticipation that would precede these nights. It’s a caricature of what things might look like when a lonesome mountain cowboy is ready to stop working and go enjoy himself, perhaps making a few bad decisions along the way. My goal with ‘Bad Honky Tonker’ was to take things to an almost comic level of hyperbole, and craft an antithesis to the ‘boyfriend country’ trend of today’s commercial country music. It’s over-the-top lyrics paint the picture of a hard-drinking, hard-living, honky-tonk nighttime man who gives zero fucks. Sitting inside my cozy log cabin, nestled deep inside the Lake McDonald forest, I had a hell of a time writing the lyrics. Who knows what bears or lions were within earshot as I penned these outrageous lines, laughing like a mad hyena underneath a sea of stars on those cool Northern Rockies summer nights.”

Listen to “Bad Honky Tonker” below:

*Feature image by Greg Kuchik*


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