Robbie Simpson, “Crush This Town”

OK, I’ll admit, I don’t know what Robbie Simpson’s tune “Crush This Town” is about (and I’m not sure Robbie would be able to tell me anyway), but I don’t really care. What I care about is that the song makes me want to learn how to get tone from an electric guitar and write this kind of music.

This is the kind of folk rock I grew up with. It’s a mash-up of Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the Kinks.

The track opens with a jangly acoustic strum and the first verse lyric. Then a melodic bass line, and finally a classic rock drum backbeat. By the time Robbie is into the trippy chorus, the electric is adding some atmosphere. Sounds like some lap steel in there too.

There’s some great imagery here, and it’s in service to something only Robbie was experiencing when he wrote the tune. Hoof beats, burning rain, freight trains, floods, ponies, pigeons, flaming wagons, tequila, and drugs. This song has it all.

I think it’s about trying to leave a toxic relationship. But what’s important is what you think it’s about. I’d highly recommend you listen and make your best guess.

I loved listening to this tune, and there are several others on Robbie’s ReverbNation page that deserve a listen as well. Spend some time there, you won’t regret it.