Jack Grelle subverts modern country tropes with his new album Got Dressed Up to be Let Down
Jack Grelle has been touring with Lavender Country, the first gay country band, and recently dedicated a song to #blacklivesmatter at AmericanaFest in Nashville, earning him a walkout from the audience who flipped him the bird on the way out the door. We love him for that, but we also really love the grittiness of his new-school country sound. He’s been getting love from American Songwriter, The Bluegrass Situation, and The Boot, so we’re not the only ones liking this! The album, “Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down” is out now on Big Muddy Records out of St Louis and features Pokey Lafarge’s South City Three and Johnny Horton from the Bottle Rockets.
“Got Dressed Up to Be Let Down is timely to a great degree. There, Grelle offers an affirmative nod to women who have been suppressed by society, a song Donald Trump ought to be force-fed continuously until he learns it’s not right to excuse bragging about sexual assault as mere locker room banter.” – Lee Zimmerman, No Depression
“Got Dressed Up to Be Let Down contrasts a traditional country sound with subversive, thought-provoking lyrics.” – Brittney Mckenna, American Songwriter
You wouldn’t expect radically progressive views in most honky-tonks, but St. Louis Americana artist Jack Grelle and his new record, Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down, have done just that. Grelle’s subversive songwriting tactics, like discussing the pitfalls of traditional masculinity within a classic country love song, owe to the person Jack Grelle is: resilient. In its most basic form resiliency is surviving, but as we evolve resiliency becomes about progress. It becomes a way to enact change, to form communities and to build bridges. Through his time in the DIY punk scene, living that ethos out in the gritty St. Louis underground country community, he has witnessed the plight of his city, and Grellehas an ardent desire to be better. He sees things more clearly and is able to ask the hard questions. To be released on Big Muddy Records on October 28, 2016, the best of St. Louis’ music scene comes out for Jack Grelle’s new album, including the South City Three (Pokey Lafarge’s band) and John Horton (The Bottle Rockets) along with a large cast of Big Muddy Records regulars. On Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down, Jack Grelle adeptly weaves Cajun, Tejano, country, honky-tonk, rock and folk to create a passionately complex overlay of the genres.
We think about the macro all the time, grappling with the realities of immense social change, while what Grelle is looking at isn’t to have all the answers but a way to have frank, open conversations about how to change ourselves and our communities. He knows there is a wrong side and a right side of history; he just wants us to be on the right side.