Artist: Daryle Singletary
Album: There’s Still A Little Country Left
Label: AGR Television Records
Genre: Neotraditional country
There are so many mixed feelings that go along with this week’s album review. Sorrow. Pride. Admiration. Saudade. Heartache. Back in February when we lost Daryle Singletary, I found myself on my kitchen floor in a mess of shock and tears. Forty-six. He was just forty-six years old. Far too young to be leaving behind a beautiful wife and four young children. I also feel incredibly sentimental writing this week’s review as our tribute piece to him here at Lula 1892, was also the very first piece I’d had a contributing part in.
Singletary’s final original album, There’s Still A Little Country Left, has been on my list of albums to touch on for so long. How do you talk about someone so determined, dedicated, and passionate about a genre without simply shoving everyone excitedly in his direction to see for themselves? There aren’t any words I can write that would honour this man the way I feel he deserves to be honoured. Singletary has been a favourite of mine for as long as I can remember. With his debut album releasing in 1995, and me coming along a year later, I quite literally grew up to his hits on the radio. As I grew into my own, I found that his respect and admiration for those who came before him helped to shape my respect and admiration for those same legends, who in turn shaped my taste in country music.
Not only did Singletary create a “country” record, but he also called out some of the goings-on in the industry on it as well. Songs like “There’s Still A Little Country Left,” “Too Late to Save the World,” and “Get Out Of My Country” that are peppered throughout the album perfectly display his frustration with the climate of Music Row. In between his frustration, he also evokes some incredible nostalgia with “Sunday Mornin’ Kind of Town,” “Like Family,” and “So Much Different Than Before” that have a movie reel of friends and family and hometowns running through your mind. There’s even a Part Two of sorts to “I Let Her Lie” that you didn’t know you needed with “Enough to Lie to Me.” Just trust me on this one. You really, really needed it. Just like you needed the one and only featured on the album in your life as well. Johnny Paycheck on “I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised.” And finally, Singletary’s stunning rendition of “America, the Beautiful” might just bring a tear to your eye…even if you’re Canadian.
There’s Still A Little Country Left is an album to remind you what country music is all about, sung by an artist who wasn’t just a singer. Daryle Singletary was a son, a father, a husband, an American, and a friend. He didn’t just sing songs. He touched hearts. He told stories. He loved his country, and he fought for his music, and we could certainly use his voice right about now. Say hello to heaven for us, Daryle. We sure do miss you an awful lot, and we intend to keep fighting the good fight with you in mind and close to our hearts because you’re right, there is still a little bit of country left.
DARYLE BRUCE SINGLETARY
March 10, 1971 – February 12, 2018
“It may be too late for the world, but can’t we still save country music?”