Classic country music served shaken, not stirred

Someone I only sort of know introduced me Sunday to someone who died eight years ago.

And that sentence could almost pass as a lyric to one of the 40-some hit singles Roy Drusky, who died in 2004 at age 74, wrote and recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. One of those songs, “Another (Just Like Me),” peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. country charts in 1960. It was playing over the speakers Sunday afternoon when we bellied up on the patio at The Pearl Martini Bar & Lounge.

I know the name of the song and the artist because of Shazam, one of the applications on my iPhone. There’s a sentence I wouldn’t have imagined writing five years ago. But without Shazam, I would have had no idea about the song because I had never heard of Drusky. (And only know about him now, thanks to Google, YouTube and Wikipedia.)

But I knew the rest of the songs we listened to during our visit. They were the songs of my childhood by artists I’ve always known: Johnny Cash, George Jones, Eddy Arnold, Waylon Jennings, T.G. Sheppard.

But hearing this kind of music at a place like the Pearl seemed kind of like serving ice cream atop chicken-fried steak. Finally, I went inside to get the story.

It just so happens that Sunday is the day that Ron Bryant makes pork tenderloins that are served at the bar, which is owned by his wife, Sally. And Ron likes classic country music. It’s what he listens to on the bar’s digital receiver from MPW Digital TV while he works. So it was what we listened to also since they had forgotten behind the bar about the speakers being turned on outside. (FYI, if you’ve never sat out on the patio at The Pearl, give it a try. It has a great view of the Mississippi River.)

When I went inside to ask about the music, Ron Bryan apologized and offered to change it to something else. But that wasn’t necessary. After all, he had just introduced our table to an old country singer who was new to me.

I didn’t care much for “Another (Just Like Me), but I’ll take it any day over hearing Kid Rock rip off Warren Zevon and Lynyrd Skynyrd for 10 millionth time.

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