Country That Doesn’t Suck: Deric Ruttan

Written by Music


The last time I accidentally listened to a country station, I was left scratching my head. It was eerily similar to the last time I accidentally landed on a Christian radio station. Each song seemed to be nothing more than background music, over which the singer emotively over-enunciates trite lyrics telling a vapid story that pulls shamelessly at one’s heart strings. Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take The Wheel” is a fine example of this burgeoning epidemic of twangy three-minute audio books for people who can’t read…and don’t actually like country music.

Of course, those songs that didn’t try to yank tears out of my eye sockets seemed to go out of their way to make me drive my car into a tree, pummelling me with empty-headed good ol’ boy sloganeering…songs that seem to exist for the sole purpose of ending up in a Chevy commercial…or worse. By the way, have you been to Toby Keith’s “I Love This Bar And Grill” in Las Vegas? I hear that it’s a great place to go to “Get Drunk And Be Somebody“. Sigh.

And what, pray tell, is a badonkadonk?

But I digress.

If you look at the current country singles chart, you’ll see that Lyric Street Records has a new hit on their hands with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood’s duet, “Love Will Always Win“. There is an artist on the label, however, that continues to go completely ignored. So much so that his debut effort for the label was only released in Canada.

Granted, he is Canadian, but last time I checked Keith Urban was Australian and damn if his records aren’t all over the US.

The artist of which I speak goes by the name Deric Ruttan and, sure, he’s co-penned hits for the likes of Dierks Bentley, but apparently this Disney-owned label is too busy kissing the “badonkadonk” of country’s most popular adulterers (ouch, the gloves comes off) to pay proper attention to someone I consider to be contemporary country’s best new artist.

How did I come to discover Deric?

I was visiting my family back in Michigan a year or so ago and happened upon the CMT channel. The video for his song, “When You Come Around” began playing and, before I could change the channel on the remote, I noticed that the drummer in the video was wearing a Ramones t-shirt. This was probably not long after I had a healthy chuckle upon seeing Justin Timberlake sporting an MC5 t-shirt on the cover of VIBE Magazine and thought this might be another case of someone thinking “maybe if I wear this t-shirt, people won’t be able to tell how often I used to get beat up in gym class”.

The few seconds I spent pondering this gave me enough time to realize the song wasn’t that bad. I figured that since his single was being played on CMT the album itself must be readily available, but, to this day, I have yet to see a Deric Ruttan CD in a record store.

I had to buy my copy of the CD on eBay, from someone in Canada.

Deric has reportedly wrapped up sessions for his next record and word has it that this one may actually be released south of Saskatchewan.

I have hand-picked a few tracks from his first album for your listening pleasure.

When You Come Around
Unbeatable
Take The Wheel