None of our experts mentioned this song, so I will: the Meat Purveyors' "Thinkin' About Drinkin.'" T.F.
In conjunction with the movie "Crazy Heart," we asked several Kansas City musicians and music aficianados to name some of their favorite drinking songs. We lead with Patrick Irvin, also known as Tater, leader of the Gravy Train, a country-cover band you can catch Wednesday evenings at Harry's Country Club. It's long, but this list is by no means comprehensive. Let us know what we've overlooked.
Regulars at Harry’s Country Club are familiar with Patrick Irvin and his alter-ego, Tater, the leader of the Gravy Train.
Every Wednesday, Tater and his boys cover traditional country music, from the obscure to the classic, and their repertoire is vast and deep, comprising hundreds of songs.
We asked him to name some of his favorite drinking songs. He gave us a long list (which we’ve edited slightly), with some occasional commentary (in italics).
“Two of my favorites are ‘Sittin and Thinkin” by Charlie Rich and ‘Little Ole Wine Drinker’ by Dean Martin. And ‘Colorado Kool-Aid’ by Johnny Paycheck was my favorite song in my dad’s record collection.”
•“The King Is Gone (So Are You)”: Elvis, Fred Flintstone and Jim Beam — three-fourths of my Mount Rushmore.
•“If the Drinking Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)”
•“Heartaches & Hangovers”: The title says it all.
•“Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down”: Blame it on the bottle.
•“Misery and Gin”: Hide the guns, pills & rope.
•“Here I Am Drunk Again”: The first step is admitting you have a problem.
•“A Headache Tomorrow (Or a Heartache Tonight)”
•“She’s Actin’ Single, I’m Drinkin’ Double”: Blame it on her
•“An Empty Glass”
•“Wine Me Up”
•“Honky Tonk Heroes”:
Every dive bar worth its salt has ’em.
•“Misery Loves Company”
Jerry Lee Lewis
•“What Made Milwaukee Famous”
•“Do You Believe Me Now”: Best drinking song that never references bars or booze.
•“My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It”
•“Whiskey River”: I’m not a fan, but everyone else seems to be.
•“Bubbles in My Beer” by anyone
•“I Just Don’t Think So”
•“Another Day Without You”
•“I Drink”: Best song ever about alcoholism.
Red Stick Ramblers
•“Closing Time Blues”
•“Drinkin’ and Drivin’ ”: So politically incorrect, it’s gotta be good.
Martina McBride, country music singer
“That’s hard. There are so many great ones. ‘Swinging Doors’ by Merle Haggard and ‘The Bottle Let Me Down,’ another Merle song. There’s a song by Vern Gosdin called ‘Do You Believe Me Now.’ It’s kind of a drinking song. It takes place in a bar. But it’s so great: his performance, the harmonies, the steel guitar, the lyrics. It’s traditional country music at its best.”
David Cantwell, music writer
The Gear Daddies, “I Drank So Much Tonight I Just Feel Stupid”; Frank Sinatra’s version of “One for the Road”; George Jones, “Just One More”; Vern Gosdin’s “Set ’em Up, Joe”; and Hank Thompson, “Six Pack to Go” and “Hangover Tavern.”
Cody Wyoming, musician
The Replacements, “Beer for Breakfast” and “Here Comes a Regular”; Nick Cave, “Brother, My Cup Is Empty”; the Rolling Stones, “Salt of the Earth.”
Keenan Nichols, gutarist, the Architects; country music fan
Jerry Reed, “Remembering”; Supersuckers, “Hungover Together”; Merle Haggard, “I Threw Away the Rose”; Lucinda Williams, “Drunken Angel”; the Knitters, “Someone Like You”; Mel Tillis, “Coca Cola Cowboy.”
Robert Moore, “Sonic Spectrum”
Webb Pierce, “There Stands the Glass”; Johnny Paycheck, “Fifteen Beers”; Uncle Tupelo, “I Got Drunk.”
Anthony Ladesich, Songwriter and filmmaker
Hank Williams, “Lost Highway”; Jawbreaker, “Kiss the Bottle”; Merle Haggard, “Swinging Doors” and “Misery and Gin”; Uncle Tupelo, “Whiskey Bottle.”
Betse Ellis, Fiddler for the Wilders
“Rye Whiskey”: Tex Ritter made it famous but it’s an old fiddle tune/song.
Rex Hobart, lader of the Misery Boys
George Jones, “If the Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)”; Merle Haggard, “The Bottle Let Me Down”; David Allan Coe, “Jack Daniels If You Please”; and one of my own, “Til’ My Teardrops Turn to Gold.”
Adam Lee, lader of the Dead Horse Sound Company
Hank Thompson, “Six Pack to Go”; Wayne Hancock, “Drinkin’ Blues.”
The Last Call Girls, a Kansas City country band
Loretta Lynn, “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”; everything ever written by Hank Williams Sr.; and one of our own, “Coffee When I’m Drunk.”