To say it’s been a pretty strange year for country music and the world in general simply wouldn’t be doing it justice, and for evidence proving as much, just flip on the nightly news and check out whatever variety of tribulations they’re discussing this time. But even with this being the case, a singer/songwriter by the name of Gary Burk III isn’t letting anything come between his artistry and the audience he wants to satisfy with his cool country charms in the new single “Two Lane Airplane.” Stylish and swaggering but still sporting just enough grittiness to be a true blue country song at its core, “Two Lane Airplane” is a track that offers up a little consistency in some of the more uncertain times I can recall in my lifetime. 


The interplay between the vocal, percussion and piano parts is much stronger than I was expecting it would be, and even as the song presses forward, there’s a lumbering sense of beefiness to the instrumentation that stands in stark contrast with the sort of aesthetical waters Burk was treading in his last two or three singles. What he’s utilizing here has a lot more in common with a rock n’ roll setup than it does anything you’d find in the typical Nashville recording studio, while the compositional integrities of “Two Lane Airplane” feel largely indebted to the pop model over others that immediately come to mind. It’s a hybrid for sure, but not the extreme act of rebelliousness that would lead to longtime fans abandoning Gary Burk III anytime soon. 

There’s so much confidence in Burk’s execution in this single, and whether we’re talking about his fretwork or the electrifying lead vocal that he’s putting at the forefront of the action, his swaggering attitude and laid back persona are infectious to put it very mildly. “Two Lane Airplane,” were it slowed down just a bit and given an acoustic backbone instead of the elemental pop/rock it’s provided in this setting, would be a lot heavier a romantic ballad than it is here, but it’s the amplified vitality of the band’s volume that really makes it a stinger. They’ve got something to share, and rather than muting it behind a lot of useless sonic props, they’re putting it right out there for us to soak up from the jump. 

“Two Lane Airplane” packs a heck of a lot more punch than I was anticipating as prepared to sit down with the song for the very first time this week, but that could be why it’s my favorite Gary Burk III song to see widespread release so far. He’s giving us the whole nine yards here, and sounding like a rockstar the entire time, and despite the fact that it could be another minute or two before we get back to seeing live music, he gives us a fair idea of what we can look forward to once he’s returned to the stage. Burk is doing his part to keep country charismatic, and he has all of my support for it. 

Garth Thomas