There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
In his lobotomized rendition of “Nowhere Man,” Randy Travis achieves a staggering feat: The lunkhead actually manages to dumb down the Beatles’ dumbest song. In a better world, Randy’s earnest travesty would have made a knee-slapping party tune for future generations, like William Shatner crooning “Rocket Man.” Instead, like most of this atrocious Nashville tribute to the Fab Four, it merely offers painful proof that so-called “country” music has become a truly sick joke. Tanya Tucker (“Something”), Sammy Kershaw (“If I Fell”), Billy Dean (“Yesterday”), Shenandoah (“Can’t Buy Me Love”), and other blow-dried, best-selling hacks give heartfelt performances that wouldn’t pass a Star Search audition. Even a decent honky-tonk singer like David Ball can’t escape a drubbing: His affected British accent on “I’ll Follow the Sun” rivals Billy “Green Day” Joe’s faux-Johnny Rotten snarl for sheer silliness. The debacle’s sole survivors are the only geezers involved: Willie Nelson, who rips through the great train song “One After 909,” and Chet Atkins, whose picking on “All My Loving” is typically lovely. To make matters worse, the package features Chet Flippo’s shamelessly sycophantic liner notes and John Lennon’s godawful, juvenile scribblings for cover art—also available on sweatshirts ($28) and baseball caps ($18), with proceeds to benefit some Sting-related charity. Let it be, indeed.