DFW Music News

Earl Dibbles Jr. (a.k.a Granger Smith) Knows What Country Really Is, and You Don't

The modern landscape of Top 40 country music is littered -- and for the most part, litter is an apt term -- with fresh-faced fellas that boast an attitude that aims for bad-ass, but typically ends up closer to lame-ass. Current hit-makers and stadium fillers such as Brantley Gilbert, Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Luke Bryan have a handful of decent songs among them, but there's a ton of generic posturing that more or less leaves them, and others like them (Justin Moore, that means you) open to criticism, and even satirical tunes penned and performed by fellow country singers.

Lo and behold, Granger Smith, an up-and-coming Dallas-based singer/songwriter who's become popular on the college circuit in the past couple years and has performed for our troops overseas multiple times, has taken on an alter ego to take on the singers who can't wait to tell everyone how "country" they are, even as rehashed REO Speedwagon arrangements blare behind their lyrics. Earl Dibbles Jr. is a serious country dude with a punk attitude who favors chewing tobacco, overalls and four-wheelers to "city boys" (see Dibbles' introduction video above).

Smith will play at Hank's Texas Grill in McKinney tonight and will surely rock Dibbles Jr.'s "Country Boy Song," which has become a relative YouTube hit with hundreds of thousands of views since its release. Good chance it's the funniest music video you'll see all year.

We chatted with Smith as he was in Dibbles-mode about country music and dip and why they're naturally intertwined.

What kind of dip is the most country? The kind that's in the lip. Dip don't do no good in the can unless you're a city boy.

Can a song truly be about country life if there's heavy rock guitars in the tune? I got a few rocks on my guitar that I carved on there. Also got a windmill, a truck, a shotgun, a cold one and some barbed wire. And a deer's head. I carved those rocks on there but I don't think it's got something to do with country life. They're just rocks I seen by the creek. So yes, that's country.

So does that mean one can't one be a real country boy if he listens to country music without electric guitars that really shred? Many boys are country boys, not just one. All of them listen to country music (real music) and if they wanna hook up electricity to they guitars then that's fine. Just be careful when you touch them metal strings. Bam! That might hurt.

What's your opinion on music videos that don't feature 4-wheelers in tons of mud? You must be a city boy. All music videos have 4-wheelers in the mud. Where else would you ride a 4-wheeler? In concrete? Dumb.

What is your advice for young songwriters who aren't into chewing or shooting guns? I don't have any advice for these kinds of city boys except don't get stuck in the mud. Cuz I ain't pullin' you out.

Granger Smith performs at Hank's Texas Grill in McKinney tonight.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kelly Dearmore