Road-tested troubadour and prolific songwriter Greg Klyma channels a couple of wordsmiths and humorists from the American folk tradition, Steve Goodman and Guy Clark, with new song "Why I Oughta" and its surreal music video.
Klyma, a Boston-based artist, wrote "Why I Oughta" from the standpoint of a barfly who's convinced himself that "drink more water" goes hand-in-hand with watering down his well whiskey of choice.
"I was working on learning Bob Dylan's 'Make You Feel My Love' on piano," Klyma says about the song's creation. "I was struggling with it 'cause I'm not much of a piano player, but it felt like I was making progress so it was nose to the grindstone for over an hour. When I finally took a break, I was real thirsty. After chugging some water, I wiped my mouth and said 'I oughta drink more water.' I heard the slant rhyme, smiled and stopped working on that Dylan song. It was time to work on my own song. This one became a fast favorite at shows and at jams. I feel lucky 'cause it works as a country song or in a bluegrass jam or sitting in with a rock band."
The song suiting country music sets comes in handy at a time when Klyma's promoting new album C&W. Klyma's fourth album released since the beginning of 2019 highlights Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard off a list of obvious influences including Tom Petty, Steve Earle, recent collaborator Peter Case and other heroes of modern singer-songwriters.
As for the video, it's minimal, hysterical computer animation conceived and created by Laurie Bousquet and Aaron Sugar. It's a little out there, which makes it more memorable than footage of Klyma strumming his guitar at a house concert.
Per Klyma's website, his prior work's "enduring themes, articulate and amusing stories and populist ideals make him one of those rare young artists who is carrying the torch of Woody (Guthrie) and Ramblin' Jack."