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Ellis Bullard Runs Down His Top 10 (Well, 13) Honky Tonk Tracks

Country artist Ellis Bullard, who released his new single “Honky Tonk Ain’t Noise Pollution,” shares with us his Top 13 honky-tonk tracks



Ellis Bullard, photo courtesy of Ellis Bullard
Ellis Bullard, photo courtesy of Ellis Bullard

There’s no denying that Ellis Bullard is one of today’s true masters of honky-tonk. It’s such a unique music style, and Bullard’s work within the genre is illustrative of its depth and range as a form of music. Bullard released his clever new single “Honky Tonk Ain’t Noise Pollution” back in the fall. The song was a precursor to the release of his new full-length album of the same name. Bullard’s new country record is due this Friday, February 9th, via Feels So Good Records.

If you’re a classic rock fan, you’ve probably already figured that the title of the title track is a play off of the AC/DC tune “Rock n’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.” The song dawned on Bullard when he had the AC/DC song playing in the background. His version is a clever adaptation, laced with humour and encapsulating the true essence of honky-tonk music.

Bullard is a true country artist at heart, holding in high regard those who paved the way for him. Drawing inspiration from artists like Merle Haggard and Jerry Reed, he records his music in the spirit of more outlaw country influences. Within that commitment is a dedication to both authenticity and humility. That no-BS attitude has carried him far, and it’s part of why Bullard has developed such a dedicated following of fans.

As a fan and aficionado of honky-tonk himself, Bullard joins us today to run down for us his Top 10 (or 13 since we made an exception) favourite honky-tonk tracks of all time.

Ellis Bullard’s Top 13 Honky Tonk Bops, Ballads, and Bangers You Didn’t Know You Needed…

(These are just listed in no particular order. Just some of the best songs that sometimes fly under the radar.)

1. Jimmy Buffett – “A Pirate Looking at 40”

“Jimmy Buffet is the man. The dude was mad talented as a writer and picker. Didn’t quite fit the Nashville rhinestone scene and dipped off to the Keys – paved his own way and set his own table. This song, in particular, features mastery level song writing with classic honky sounds like “phasers and steel guitar. “ Over the TOP COUNTRY.”

2. J.J. Cale – “Hey Baby”

“Relentless groove!”

3. ZZ Top – “She’s a Heartbreaker”

“I’ll leave it up to your interpretation of what country music is. I think Billy (Gibbons) and them for sure checked off most of my boxes.”

4. Buck Owens – “Made In Japan”

“Just a fun song! Tells a great story and features master-class musicianship by the Bakersfield sound pioneers.”

5. Dire Straits – “Setting Me Up”

“Another bop up for interpretation but here we have the Sultans of Swing nailing some country stylings with strat tones.”

6. The Country Sound Of Harmonica Sam – “If That’s The Way It’s Gotta Be”

“Those boys sure did this number justice. It’s my favourite version by far!”

7. Zephania Ohara – “Black and Blue”

“The second coming of Merle.”

8. The Reeves Brothers – “Medicine Man”

“Killer song with all the country fixins’!”

9. Alex Williams- “Little Too Stoned”

“Bop about smoking weed, what’s not to love?”

10. Jesse Daniel – “Rollin’ On”

“Hard nose Country! Tonk by the TON!”

11. Hank Williams Jr. – “Dinosaur”

“Groove and hilarious message that as you find yourself being the oldest in the room rings true as time goes on.”

12. Larry Jon Wilson – “Ohoopee River Bottomland”

“WTF! Larry Jon is flying under most folks radars but boasts a deep voice, killer lyrics, and undeniable funky honky vibes.”

13. Dale Watson – “Good Luck n’ Good Truckin’ Tonite”

“Riff driven tune! Great song for road doggin! Killer lyrics! God Bless our truckers!”

Ellis Bullard “Honky Tonk Aint Noise Pollution” single artwork

Ellis Bullard “Honky Tonk Aint Noise Pollution” single artwork

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