This is the sound of what’s known as ‘a boy done-good’. And Jerry Harmon is certainly that, with a grammy nomination to his name, he could in fact be the pinnacle of ‘a boy done-good’.

Walk Softly is an all-American sermon espousing the values of country living, patriotism, pickup trucks and sex with geriatrics. With a teasing hint of incest for added flavour.

A lap-steel guitar cuts through the speakers, shrill and clear as a nail on glass. An acoustic guitar strums cowboy chords while Harmon’s southern twang sings of Trump’s America.

It’s not commenting on the consequences of such things as: the travel ban, the slaughtering in Syria, or the promised mass-deportation of immigrants though. Rather, Walk Softly is a valuable window into the mindset of the redneck-American.

To a clichéd soundtrack of banjos, minimal backbeats, fiddles and slide geetars, songs such as Daddy’s Was Purple reflect on a childhood without a father, killed in an unspecified war.

Yet, there’s a tragic sense of pride in what should be a lament. Harmon’s father may not have bought him his first beer, or cheered him on at baseball games, but by-gum he died for his country! He died ‘cause FREEDOM!

Freedom to look at elderly ladies and think “dayum I’d heet that,” apparently, as the following track Grandmas Are Sexy Too states in no uncertain terms. Check the rather risqué comments on Harmon’s own Grandmother…

America’s virtues are manifold, “truth, justice and the American way” and all that. But the virtues Harmon sings of on Walk Softly are not the ones to be proud of. And they’re certainly not the ones Superman would be upholding.

Walk Softly does exactly the opposite: it Trumps along with steel capped boots, tarnishing the American dream with jingoistic drivel. On Love In The House, even the poverty of rural-America is romanticised. Indoctrination levels at 100%, sir!

Q: What’s the difference between the USA and yoghurt?

A: After two hundred years, yoghurt would have grown a culture.

This is an incorrect statement. Look at the hardcore punk/alt-rock scene of the ‘80s. Go back further and you have the original punk rock icons. Further back again you have Burroughs, Ginsberg, Kerouac and jazz. What an American performer needs to understand is that they are the representatives of the American dream. And as the man Yeats said; “tread softly, for you tread on my dreams.”

by James Fleming

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