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Rooted in Country: Summer Dean on Faron Young's 'Wine Me Up'

Brooks Burris

Summer Dean's new album Bad Romantic is a tribute to living life on your own terms. On the traditionally-minded 11-track album, the school teacher turned honky tonk queen stakes her claim as one of country music's best truth-tellers through instant classics such as the Colter Wall collaboration "You're Lucky She's Lonely," heartwrenching Dust Bowl saga "Dear Caroline" and rallying cry "Can You Hear Me Knocking."

Dean's songwriting -- along with whipsmart, masterful covers of Linda Hargrove's "Blue Jean Country Queen" and Leona Williams' "Yes Ma'am, He Found Me in a Honktonk" -- is proof that the Fort Worth-based artist is a lifelong student of classic country. In fact, Dean credits Faron Young's 1969 hit "Wine Me Up" as an important crash course in the country genre.

"This song is a quintessential, standard, shuffle, country song in every way," Dean tells Wide Open Country. "These kinds of songs give us the rules of country music. And you can only break the rules if you know them."

Read More: Rooted in Country: Suzanne Santo on Patsy Cline's 'I Fall to Pieces'

Bad Romantic is the follow-up to Dean's critically acclaimed 2016 EP Unladylike. Dean says the album is the product of a lifelong dream and years of hard work.

"I taught elementary school for 10 years," Dean says in a statement. "That's what small-town Texas girls do. We teach school, work at the bank, or at the courthouse. Then we get married and have babies and a few dogs and die happy, buried next to our husbands. But here I am, age 40, quitting my stable job, cashing in the wedding money my momma put aside for me, and making this album."

 

 

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Rooted in Country: Summer Dean on Faron Young's 'Wine Me Up'