The Willie Nelson of the Recession

Country music has occasionally seized the political moment—see the collected works of Toby Keith. But the recession requires a different approach. Country singer and occasional GOP backer John Rich, known for the ode “Raising McCain,” has recorded a new song belaboring his bailout blues titled “Shuttin’ Detroit Down.” The song was inspired last January by Merrill Lynch’s John Thain and strikes a populist chord with lyrics like “I see all these big shots whining on my evening news” and “his pension plan’s been cut in half and he can’t afford to die.” "The song is not depressing," Rich tells The Times. "The song is defiant."