Prison Songs One: Jaime Wyatt -“Wasco” (single/video)
Jaime Wyat – ‘Felony Blues’ is available on iTunes.
by Walter Price
When you think of the history of country music you can not get too far into your nostalgia rabbit-hole without conjuring up memories of the prison songs. Songs made famous by Cash, Haggard, Earle, and Lynn are legit, gritty and haunting. But the subject matter has, for the most part, gone unutilized over the most recent decades. Why?
My theory is at about the same time country music was further forced into the pop music landscapes of the mid-eighties, the grime and harsh realities of story songs and songs about the outlaw, weren’t cool anymore on maistream radio. Not to say there hasn’t been an ‘underground’ scene still producing suck odes, but you’d have to dig deep.
Jaime Wyatt knows a thing or two about life in prison, having served time herself, for robbing her dealer. Bad choices make for real-life music you can sink your soul into and Wyatt’s 2017 release, Felony Blues, is chock full. And one of the highlights is the fourth track, “Wasco”.
The track is said to be the story of Wyatt’s LA county jail cellmate who had planned to marry another inmate, a man she had never met. Blind love on the heels of a life full of unmistakable bad decisions is the ‘perfect’ setting for a tale of endless disappointments.
Forty-four hundred, ninety-nine inmates
Only one cowboy’s got my heart
Twenty-nine miles just northwest of Bakersfield
If he ain’t callin’ I know he’s on the yard
The Magda Wosinska directed video tells a slightly different tale. A tale of that kinda small town fun and love that can trap you. Confine you into that world that trapped your parents, and the cycle continues. But when you’re young, the future seems immediate and consequences seem neither here nor there.
Well maybe if I’d spent a little more time in high school
I just might be somebody else’s girl
But my daddy left home for Mary Ellen’s mama
And we’ve been scrappin’ ever since
Whether you take “Wasco” as a song from Wyatt’s firsthand experiences or internalize, as I have, it as a song about your own small town memories, one thing is for sure. This track is right at home with the classics.
Directed by Magda Wosinska
Edited by Andy Polich
Directors of Cinematography:
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