Robert Counts Offers Up Backwoods Wisdom in ‘What Do I Know’ [LISTEN]
Newcomer Robert Counts delivers a hard-rocking slice of redneck philosophy in "What Do I Know," and he's starting to make waves on the radio with his brand of down-home, grounded country music. In fact, in its first week out, the song was the No. 2 most-added song to country stations -- right after Taylor Swift's "Betty."
It's not hard to see why the song has drawn so strong a response. "What Do I Know" highlights Counts' gravelly, road-worn voice and his time-tested message of simple living in the countryside. Add in a Travis Denning-like rock flair and nimble songwriting skills, and this song feels like a shoo-in to be a favorite with country fans.
The up-and-coming performer has been steadily growing his fanbase since he released his self-titled EP in October of 2019. Both the five songs on that project and "What Do I Know" shine a light on Counts' prowess as a songwriter, a skill that the Franklin, Tenn., native honed after scoring his first publishing deal. Back then, he could have envisioned a career in the writing side of the music business.
"The purpose of the first publishing deal was just for me to be a songwriter," Counts explains in an interview with his hometown newspaper, the Williamson Herald. "That's really all I wanted to do, really just because I thought it was super, super difficult -- and it is -- to become an artist in town and to build a name up for yourself."
Plus, he grew up close enough to Music City to understand that country songwriting could easily be a career in its own right. "I just thought I would be better at just crafting songs and seeing if Kenny Chesney would cut them," he adds.
But after several years as a songwriter, at the encouragement of his colleagues, Counts took the leap into releasing his own music as an artist. He's planning on dropping a full album in the near future, and expects his next musical chapter to have the same hard-rocking edge as "What Do I Know."
Before he decided to pursue music, Counts was a biochemistry student who planned to become an orthopedic surgeon.
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Robert Counts, "What Do I Know" Lyrics:
Work hard all day, sleep hard all night / Don't run your mouth if you don't know how to fight / Plan your work, man, then work your plan / Don't build your house in the sand / Carry a pocket knight, stick to your guns / Know when to walk away, but don't ever run / Try not to borrow another man's gold / Gotta answer to the one you owe / Things are the things I know ...
But what do I know, I'm just a redneck / Sitting on a screened-in, sipping on a long-neck / Listening to the crickets sing the same old songs / Like my daddy's granddaddy's daddy's daddy did too / What do I know, I'm just a coffee can dollar / Dirt on my hands, sweat on my blue collar / Got everything I need right here in the holler / Where the ones that don't get it won't go / But what do I know ...
Say what you think, think 'fore you speak / Don't kill nothin' that you ain't gonna eat / You learn from the dirt what ya street can't teach / That backwoods philosophy / Hell, it still means a lot to me
I know wrong, I know right / I know right where I'll go when I die ...
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