As Midland’s first Number One single, “Drinkin’ Problem” has become a calling card for the trio, and now that song’s flip-side story, “Burn Out,” is the band’s new single. Midland perform the song, along with their unofficial, unreleased anthem “Gator Boys,” in a new series of videos.
The performances (presented by iHeartRadio with Honda Stage) were recorded at Gruene Hall, a 140-year-old dancehall that holds the distinction of being the oldest in Texas, located just outside the band’s home base of Austin in the hamlet of New Braunfels. “Burn Out” is one of the most evocative and sharply written cuts from the group’s debut LP On the Rocks, an impressionistic account of being on the wrong side of an empty bottle. Lead singer Mark Wystrach says it bears the influence of both George Strait and Gary Stewart. “It almost explains how the archetype in ‘Drinkin’ Problem’ got to that place. It sets that song up, what drives a guy to get to that place,” he says in an interview accompanying the performance.
“Gator Boys,” meanwhile, is a rollicking and semi-autobiographical track, which features some prominent vocals from bassist Cameron Duddy and guitarist Jess Carson, who wrote the song and handles the first verse. With lyrics about a trio of Dukes of Hazzard-esque musicians with “gator boots and tight Wrangler pants,” it’s an aggrandizing if ultimately tongue-in-cheek ode to the band – and mostly an excuse to have fun. “If we were going to write a movie about ourselves and make ourselves way cooler than we are, it would look like that,” Wystrach says.
Midland are nominated in three categories at the 2018 ACM Awards, which take place on April 15th. They’re currently on the road supporting Little Big Town on the Breakers Tour, which makes its next stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on March 22nd. Midland will headline two sold-out nights at Gruene Hall on May 31st and June 1st.