Having previously encountered David Schipper deftly parodying Bob Dylan as a solo outing, the perfect way to get to know the man better would be to take a listen to his work as a member of his occasional musical vehicle Lucky Dog, so this song landing in the review pile afforded me that perfect opportunity. The subtitle of “a new country classic” is very apt as it has all the hallmarks of the genres trademark style but also manages to put just the right twist on things, as you would expect from Mr S.
Country music is full of songs about new relationships, from the first tentative steps of youthful lush through the broken marriages that the cowboy author is looking to run away from to the reflective joys of longevity and contentment. Don’t Screw It Up Again manages to touch on the whole spectrum documenting the sentiment of two divorcees getting a second chance on love and happiness, hopefully having learned from their previous mistakes.
Mournful violin leads the listener by the hand as the lilting guitar rhythms set a seductive musical backdrop for this small town drama. And as much as the lead lyric might, on first hearing, seem tongue in cheek or satirical, it actually reflects the honest and matter-of-fact approach that comes with age and after all, what better or more to the point advice could you set yourself if you were in their shoes.
The best country music is about honesty more than anything. But if you have had enough of catwalk cowboys waxing lyrical about their pickup truck, cliche country girls in fringed shirts singing about getting left on the shelf or truck drivers who love the road…a bit too much…then Don’t Screw It Up Again is a song that lives in the real world, which is relatable and probably reflects a more realistic social narrative. A new country classic? Why not?