Most country fans and Nashville tourists know of and might have even been to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Robert’s Western World, two of Music City’s most famous honky-tonks. But a mile or two away from the neon lights and roaming bachelorette parties of Lower Broadway, in the thriving Midtown neighborhood, sits Losers Bar & Grill. A shot and a beer bar, forever fumigated by nights of cigarette smoke, Losers is where some of country’s stars go to get lost. Randy Houser, Jerrod Niemann and Lee Brice are regular patrons, Zac Brown has stopped in to play some songs (once with Dave Grohl in tow) and Miranda Lambert has been spotted at the bar — as well as at neighboring Winners, where she supposedly, and infamously, doused Nickelback’s Chad Kroger with a drink.
Now, Losers has inspired a song: Chris Young’s latest release, “Lonely Eyes.” (Listen to it below.) The third single from Young’s A.M. album, “Lonely Eyes” paints a picture of a guy and a girl who cross paths in a smoky bar. One that the deep-voiced Tennessee native has visited many times.
“I’ve spent my fair share of time at Losers,” Young said in a statement about the mid-tempo track. “I’ve seen moments like what I sing about in ‘Lonely Eyes’ go down all the time.”
The song, written by Johnny Bulford, Jason Matthews and Laura Veltz, is full of barroom imagery, from the elbow-to-elbow crowd and the yelling bartender to the fortuitous empty seat next to the narrator. “Scan the room a couple times/find a seat right next to mine,” sings Young, before reaching the payoff chorus: “Look at me and I think you’ll see those lonely eyes don’t have to be alone tonight.”
It’s reminiscent of Johnny Lee — whom, coincidentally, Young name-checked in the brilliant title track to his last album, Neon — and its vibe would fit in nicely on the soundtrack to Urban Cowboy, if they were to remake that film today. (And really, why haven’t they?)
Young brings his “Lonely Eyes” to the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, Washington, Thursday night.