Dale Hollow is a bit of an enigma. He is purportedly friends with the mysterious Orville Peck; a fact backed up by his brief appearance in the video for “Legends Never Die” and his performance in the Orville Peck Rodeo. His online persona is boastful and absurd but yet somehow manages to ride the line between complete farce and honest delusion. His posts are filled with errant hashtags, emoji and plenty of UPPERCASE emphasis; a combination that might lead one to believe that Hollow is simply joking about his role as the World’s Greatest Country Star.
But here’s the thing, he actually does write a helluva country song. The latest single, “I’m a Lover, But I’ll Still Fight,” showcases Hollow’s baritone vocals against a backdrop of traditional acoustic strumming, guitar licks and galloping drums. Lyrically, he’ll dip into the absurd with verses like “Well, I’ve seen Roadhouse 30 times / Studied all the dialogue, I memorized the fights / so go ahead and bust the glass / I’ll even give you one free swing and then I’ll beat your ass” – not exactly the classic lines you’d expect from a country song but I’ll be damned if it isn’t delightful to hear and fully in service of the song as a whole.
There’s a passion in the delivery of the song; particularly in the back third, that yearns for a singalong. That adoring audience may one day be in concert screaming the words back at Hollow or simply in their car hollering along with the their own passion but one thing is for certain, Dale Hollow’s mysterious ways will woo you.