Dallas-born Granger Smith is one of the more interesting country artists on the scene. It's not necessarily the music that makes him stand out from the crowd — his good-timin', Texas-celebratin' brand of country fits in fine on both regional and national radio right now. His latest hit? It's called "Backroad Song," if that tells you anything about the approach.
What makes Smith a bit more intriguing than the average country Joe is that he has an alter ego. And the alter ego has his own songs.
Most of the tracks on Smith's new album, Remington, coming in March, are straightforward and somewhat serious. But a few of the funnier ones are sung by "Earl Dibbles Jr.," a backward, backwoods character created and made popular by Smith. Earl sings "Country Boy Love" and "City Boy Stuck" as though he has a big ol' dip in his mouth.
At any given show, Smith will do plenty of his own tunes, but he'll also step into the dirty boots of Dibbles, to the delight of the crowd. That should be the case when Smith takes the stage at Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth.
Granger vs Earl: Sample lyrics
AS GRANGER SMITH:
"Backroad Song": "The breeze smells like a summertime hay field's just been cut."
"Tailgate Town": "Just an old BP and a Dairy Queen/Where the farmers meet to talk about the weather."
"Bury Me in Blue Jeans": "Couldn't be a cowboy, I'm a hundred years late/I'm a six-string poet and a radio slave."
AS EARL DIBBLES JR.:
"The Country Boy Song": "I keep a 12-gauge by my water bed/Cause the next trailer over lives a meth head."
"Country Boy Love": "We can battle for a buck on our first date/Get some mud on the truck or go hunt snakes."
"City Boy Stuck": "Back and forth, the mud got thicker/Kick good dirt on his Democrat sticker."
More country crooners headed our way
Ronnie Milsap (Feb. 26 at Billy Bob's): The night before Smith hits the honky-tonk's stage, Country Music Hall of Famer and hitmaker Milsap will bring his classics to the beer-drinking crowd. And a cold one goes so great with "Any Day Now." billybobstexas.com.
Mark Chesnutt (Feb. 27 at Arlington Music Hall): Chesnutt is a Texas country favorite who enjoyed national success in the '90s with boot-scootin' tunes like "Bubba Shot the Jukebox" and "It Sure Is Monday." He's lost none of his skill, as he's been touring steadily since his days on the charts. arlingtonmusichall.net.
Gary Allan (Feb. 27 at WinStar World Casino): Not many singers can deliver a hard-lived, sad-sack country song the way Allan can. His raspy, heartfelt delivery has brought many a listener to tears. But the good thing about seeing him at WinStar is that you can perk right up at the slot machines afterward. winstarworldcasino.com.
Zane Williams (March 1 at Cadillac Pizza Pub): This Lone Star crooner hails from Abilene and is well-respected in the Red Dirt scene. He'll share plenty of songs from his latest, 2015's Texas Like That, at this no-cover show. It's part of the McKinney venue's regular singer-songwriter showcase. cadillacpizzapub.com.
Reckless Kelly (March 3 at the Courtyard Theater of Plano): The Austin band has been touring consistently since the late '90s and has built quite a following in these parts. The upcoming show is part of the city of Plano's Courtyard Texas Music Series. plano.gov/417/Courtyard-Texas- Music-Series.