A Retro Review: HAILEY WHITTERS Janice At The Hotel Bar
by Walter Price
I obviously don’t know how you spent late nights as a youth. But for me, more often than not, you’d find me in a red pleather upholstered corner booth of a honky tonk, dive bar, dance hall, or perhaps you’d find me sleeping in the bed of a pickup at a chili cookoff. So went the life of a child of a wandering Texas troubadour way back when. It was a different time and folks brought kids along on almost all their beer and whiskey-stained adventures. And, in a way, all the better.
These experiences introduced me to a wide swath of barroom babysitters. ‘Older’ stateswomen and men who, to me, were full of indelible mind-boggling pearls of wisdom that stick to my soul to this day. And if you go back a short spell to Hailey Whitters’ “Janice At The Hotel Bar”, she’ll introduce you to a real-life watering-hole philosopher.
There’s a lot of wisdom sewn throughout Janice’s laments. Pay all your bills, vodka over dessert (if ya will), use the truth wisely, say no to drugs, pay your bills, and the benefits of a good cry are just a touch of her cocktail-fueled guidance. What’s better, is Janice is a real person. Not only is Janice an actual bona fide character that inspired this song, but her experiences and musing exemplify the wise ole folks you’ll meet in cantinas in any town, anywhere. All you have to do… is listen.
I was introduced to this Miranda Lambert-esque story song via storied singer-songwriter/author Lo Carmen’s blog, Loose Connections. Worth a peruse. “Janice At The Hotel Bar” is taken on Hailey Whitters’ phenomenal LP, “The Dream” (2020).
Make good love, good company, drink good wine, make good coffee, and stream this honor to all the saloon sages, here at the GTC.
HAILEY WHITTERS Janice At The Hotel Bar
Artist photo via YouTube // Bio quotes courtesy of Big Loud Records
Written by Hailey Whitters & Lori McKenna
MUSIC VIDEO: Production Company: Magic Seed Productions
Director + Editor: Erica Silverman
Producer: Sanetra Longno
Executive Producer: Lagan Sebert & Brandon Bloch
Creative Director: Harper Duddy
“This Iowa-born, Nashville-based rising country star scored her breakthrough moment in 2020 with the release of her self-funded debut album THE DREAM, which was praised as “the year’s deepest country album” (The Washington Post) and went on to appear on more than 15 year-end best-of lists including #1 on both Stereogum’s “10 Best Country Albums of 2020” and Garden & Gun’s “Best Southern Albums of 2020” list.” – bio