“Chevrolet” takes Dobie Gray’s 1973 hit and reframes it as a country love song
On “Chevrolet,” Dustin Lynch explains how he doesn’t need much for everlasting happiness. Y’know, he simply requires a six-pack (beverage nonspecific), some Brooks & Dunn (let’s go with “Rock My World”), a little “country girl” (“dressed to kill,” natch), a vehicle (guess), and apparently free rein to rewrite the lyrics to Dobie Gray’s 1973 hit, “Drift Away.”
The song, which features Jelly Roll, the leading CMA Awards male nominee, and appears on Lynch’s upcoming Killed the Cowboy album, is a note-for-note remake of the 50-year-old soft-rock hit that seems to be just begging for placement in a car commercial. The practice of rewriting the lyrics and twanging up old rock songs is on the way to becoming a tradition for country music, with more on the way.
“There is something in the air in Nashville right now, where writers are on the same wavelength and doing cool things like interpolating classic songs into something new,” Lynch said in a statement. “When ‘Chevrolet’ came across our plate, it floored me. Everyone knows Dobie Gray’s ‘Drift Away’ – the melody of that song is timeless. Having Jelly Roll on it adds an extra edge.”
“Drift Away,” incidentally, was written solely by singer-songwriter Mentor Williams, who recorded the song in 1972. Gray turned it into a Number Five hit the next year. In addition to Williams’ credit, “Chevrolet” adds Nashville songwriters Chase McGill, Jessi Alexander, and Hunter Phelps.
Did the extra cooks in the kitchen make it any better than Uncle Kracker’s “Drift Away” cover? Only God can judge.