Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley at Echo Mountain, Asheville, North Carolina
Woody Pines makes me believe that everything's much harder than it should be. What a man really need but a good hat, a good job, a roof, a good pair of shoes and a great gal to get him through. And that's it. There need not be anything else to complicate it. There are plenty of complementary things that could enhance the collection of quality assets - the good meals, the good cars and the good wine - but they could all be stripped back and a man could be left with nothing but cheap hamburgers and fries to eat every day, no car to call his own and nothing to drink but what arcs out of the public fountain and if he had the rest, he wouldn't complain an obscene amount. You could probably even shave the good hat and the good pair of shoes from the list, but then you might need to throw some good drinks into the mix. No matter how good the gal is, the good drinks can always be of assistance. Hell, she just might be one of those gals who appreciates them as much as you do.
There's one that the North Carolinian Pines writes about in "Who Told You?" who doesn't like the drinks, doesn't like the grass and is going to be against your going out and carousing until unhealthy hours, no matter when you ask if it's okay to do so - no matter how damned much you butter her up. She's a great gal, but she's a protective, mothering son of a gun. You'll be the first to admit, when you're out of the earshot of the rest of the guys, that you like it, and most of the time you need such a vigilant watchdog. It comes in handy as insurance and as an excuse.
Most of the ladies that Pines seems to be referring to here, though, are the ones that you'd wade through raging floodwaters and enter burning buildings to save. You would be as loyal as you've ever been and you'd vow to keep getting better at it. You would spend the entire day dreaming of the moment when you'd walk through that door at home, take off those tight boots and not want to leave her sight again until the following morning, when the good job clock screamed to be punched. Pines sings, "Satisfied, tickled too, just to be with you," in his cool, aftershave burn of a way, and it feels like such a simple wooing. This is a clear sky, a clear creek full of fish, a warm sun and the whippoorwill calling. This is the icing on the cake. It's a way of explaining that he wants for nothing. Even when he is without, as he is on the song, "Red Rocking Chair," these are the reminders he needs to get by until then.