Aaron Lewis, ‘Granddaddy’s Gun’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]
Aaron Lewis‘s new single ‘Granddaddy’s Gun’ should easily become the biggest country hit of his career. The third release from ‘The Road’ album speaks to an audience that’s increasingly being told to quiet down. While the song has appeared on more than one album in recent years, it’s Lewis who truly does it justice.
The worry with any song about guns is that it will come across as pandering to an easy-to-rile right to bear arms crowd. ‘Granddaddy’s Gun’ is anything but crude or indulgent. The song (co-written by three of Nashville’s best in Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Bobby Pinson) is really the story of a boy and his relationship with his grandfather.
“It’s just a double barrel twelve / The stock is cracked and it kicks like hell / It wouldn’t mean what mean’s to me to no one,” Lewis sings to begin the chorus, his voice as rough and worn as you’d expect from a man telling this story.
“I can still hear his voice when I put it to my shoulder / Guns like a woman son it’s all how you hold her / He taught me a whole lot more than how to hunt / And one of these days I’ll pass it on to my son / Granddaddy’s gun.”
Akins first recorded the song for a collaborative album with Davidson in 2010, and Blake Shelton cut it for his 2013 album ‘Based on a True Story …’ Spend a moment around the gruff and very private Lewis and you’ll learn he comes from a country raising. Sincerity is not an issue — he tells the story like he wrote it, a task much more challenging than the average fan realizes.
“He bought it new out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog / And it shot a many a shell over the top of an old bird dog / And it backed a burglar down when grandma took the safety off / Granddaddy’s gun,” Lewis sings to close the first verse. The characters and details of his story pop from the speakers. You can almost smell the old worn stock and taste the flavor of spent gunpowder from the barrel.
Can a song about guns reach No. 1 in the modern socio-political climate? Probably not. That says nothing about the quality of this nearly four-minute track, however. In another era, it’d be Song of the Year material.
Listen to Aaron Lewis, ‘Granddaddy’s Gun’