Happy almost-Memorial Day Weekend! If you're not grilling this weekend, I guess you either don't like food or don't like America. But if you're a good hot-dog-worshipping 'Murican like the rest of us, you can soundtrack your backyard polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon fest with a new Spotify playlist curated by the mayor of Flavortown, lover of Donkey Sauce, honorary Smash Mouth member, and seemingly Nice Dude, Guy Fieri.
The Country Cookout playlist is part of Spotify's "Hot Country" hub and is described as "the perfect condiment to accompany any summer party." Its 71 songs clock in at 3 hours and 51 minutes of pure Fieri essence (although I find it difficult to accept a playlist from Guy that has not a note of Van Halen).
You'll find all the legends—Johnny, Willie, Dolly, Hank—through the Kenny Chesneys and into the more contemporary Blake Sheltons and Zac Brown Bands of genre.
For fans of Flavortown, we offer these thoughts and potential recipe pairings:
- This playlist made me realize that I know NOTHING about modern country music. Last time I checked in with Kid Rock was when the bawitdaba was da bang da bang diggy diggy diggy; I did not even realize that he now puts out full-fledged country music instead of goatee rock. Since Kid Rock best resembles a successful bounty hunter, and criminals make me think of alleys, I can see cranking his tunes while making Matty Matheson's succulent Back-Alley Ribs.
- There's also a Kid Rock song on here ("All Summer Long") that samples Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" and "Sweet Home Alabama." I wish I could tell you that I don't like it, but TBH it rips. (It turns out that this song came out in 2008… Again, I am no Kid Rock scholar.) Zevon's "Quasi-Bad Chili Recipe" is legendary in the annals of weird rock cookery, but I'd recommend making Meyhem Lauren's more-than-quasi-good Turkey Chili instead.
- Naturally, that one "I wanna get lost in your rock and roll" song by Uncle Kracker is included. (I found a Reddit post that asks whether Uncle Kracker, Insane Clown Posse's Violent J, and Guy Fieri have ever been seen in a room together and there is a case to be made that they are three different characters projected on the same body.) Sadly, we have no recipes that showcase crackers, but we do have these tasty Buttermilk Biscuits.
- There is a very twangy song from Darius Rucker, best known as the singer of Hootie & the Blowfish. (He is also the only non-white artist on the playlist.) To pay homage to the days of Cracked Rear View, we suggest these Grilled Fish Tacos.
- That Jason Aldean song "Burnin' It Down" is like the Weeknd for people who bone in the back of pick-up trucks. Why not "burn it down" yourself with a Blackened Shrimp Cocktail?
- Oh boy. There is an emotional pop-country ditty on here called "Tequila" by a duo called Dan + Shay; the lyrics go: "But when I taste tequila, baby I still see ya / Cutting up the floor in a sorority T-shirt / The same one you wore when we were / Sky high in Colorado, your lips pressed against the bottle / Swearing on a bible, baby, I'd never leave ya." This is a dramatically different way than the way I feel when I taste tequila, which is more akin to "post-traumatic stress disorder from approximately 1,000 crippling Cuervo hangovers in college." I've also never been to Colorado. Anyways, that doesn't stop me from drinking tequila, and no sorority membership is required to enjoy this easy Tequila Gimlet.
That concludes our journey through Fieri's favorite country jams, and now I cannot un-visualize a whole lot of people in cowboy hats listening to this playlist while they shred pulled pork.
To read some more country-informed opinions on this playlist from a music writer's perspective, head over to Noisey. Or, listen for yourself here: