Wheeler Walker Jr. is supposedly an up and coming country musician whose appearance has caused quite a stir. He recently released a three-song EP titled “Fuck You Bitch” that is a precursor to the release of his first full length album this coming February.
This record is being produced by Nashville’s Dave Cobb, who is known for having produced the work of Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton and, most notably, Jason Isbell.
Walker has apparently been working on releasing an album for the past 15 years but he couldn’t find a producer that was willing to release an album so profane-laden. This seems understandable just given the album’s title.
Wheeler Walker Jr. is adding to country music’s ever growing sum of songs about lousy men complaining of their most recent break-up. In true honky tonk fashion Walker uses about the same three chords throughout the entirety of the first track “FYB” and lacks any sort of stand-out picking or strumming patterns.
The instrumentation, like the lyrics, is redundant and aggressively simplistic. The only surprising aspect of this song is that he doesn’t mention a pick-up truck once. This song is so absurd I had to listen to it multiple times to make sure it was as ridiculous as it seemed.
Interestingly enough, it is rumoured that Wheeler Walker Jr. is the alter ego of Comedy Central’s comedian Ben Hoffman, who is known for his skits on “The Ben Show.” One skit in particular called “Eating P**** Kicking A**” is in fact a satire on country music.
It takes some googling but you can find the released trademark registration for “Wheeler Walker Jr.” where Hoffman is included on the paperwork for Pepperhill records, his current label.
So it appears Walker took the idea from that skit and turned it into an entire performance act.
He even took the crude, rough and tumble country persona to Twitter and Facebook, where he is just as harsh and obscene as he is in his songs.
After considering Walker’s music as a performance act rather than than the debut of an aspiring musician, I began to wonder if this Wheeler Walker Jr. is the hero country music needs.
Walker seems to be trying to make a commentary on how pop country these days is in fact the worst of both worlds. But he isn’t just condemning pop country to the equivalent of frat house dumpster juice; in some ways it seems like he wants to get back to the roots of country music. Real country music like George Jones and Jerry Reed, not Rascal Flatts or Florida Georgia Line.
The funny thing is that his performance is incredibly convincing.
Looking at reddit threads and Youtube comments, the majority of his listeners don’t even know it is an act, and just like the music.
Wheeler Walker Jr.’s full length, eleven-song album will be released this February, but in the meantime, if you’re interested, his raunchy twitter persona is entertaining enough—@WheelerWalkerJr.