Jun 16, 2017
Texas Songwriter Under Fire for Song About Missouri
"Traitor. Texas forever, bitch!" read a tweet from @txgirl696969 this past Friday, and that's one of the nicer responses Barton has received. He's also seen his previously ascending single drop off the charts when his album including "White River Hills" was released.
Barton is flummoxed by the situation. "Literally, all 97 songs I've ever written before were either about Texas or took place in Texas or were named after a city in Texas," he explained. "But it's like I cheated on my wife or something, writing about Missouri." Barton says he was touring through Missouri and Arkansas and simply thought the White River Hills area was beautiful and wanted to express it in song. He never expected his budding career to hit a brick wall because of it.
He's had bookings cancelled across Texas in the wake of the controversy. Someone even tore the "Don't Mess With Texas" sticker off his tour van. "Casey Donahew called and cursed me out," said Barton, shaking his head. "and Kevin Fowler pulled his tour bus up in front of my house and forced me to hand over all his CD's that I owned."
Apparently, Barton told us, there are only a certain number of acceptable locations in songs for artists of his ilk. Texas is always king. Oklahoma is fine sometimes. Louisiana will work for songs with zydeco instrumentation. Mexico, of course, is great. Nobody writes songs about Arkansas. Deviation from these unwritten rules leads to black-balling and questioning of loyalty.
At press time, Wells Barton was planning to re-release his album Stars and Bars and Cadillac Cars with "White River Hills" replaced by a new song, "Texas is My Only Girl," but it remains to be seen if too much damage has already been done.