Nashville-based country music trio, Codependent Truckers, are getting rave reviews, not only for their gut-wrenching songs of love and loss, but also for bringing a new level of self-awareness to country music.
"Classic country has always been rife with addiction, abusive relationships, and compulsive going-back-for-more," said Codependent Truckers lead singer and guitarist, Jesse Lee. "So we're not doing anything new by injecting codependency into the equation. The difference is, we own it."
Lee explained that for him and his fellow band members, Bryan Chambers and Justin Gentry, who originally met in an unidentified twelve-step support group, explicitly and publicly acknowledging their most shameful character defect has been instrumental in their healing from codependency. "It's empowering," said Lee.
And their music shows it. Country music fans have been riveted by the Codependent Truckers' ballads of adult men who obsessively drive by their exes' houses, pine away in longing for emotionally unavailable women, and try without success to get their selfish, narcissistic girlfriends to stop drinking, drugging, cheating, and stealing their money.
Lee noted that while most of the band's tunes are autobiographical in nature, they hold a universal appeal. "It's stuff that pretty much everyone can relate to," he said.
Still, despite across-the-board adulation from fans, the band has garnered criticism from some mental health professionals, who worry that the Codependent Truckers may be glamorizing codependency. "As with the 'heroin chic' craze, we fear that the band's music may lure otherwise stable people into experimenting with unhealthy relationship dynamics," said love addiction specialist, Dr. Amanda Wilder. "Codependency is no joke. And neither should it be used as a marketing hook or brand."
Nevertheless, Lee and his bandmates stand by their commitment to making unabashedly honest music, in the hopes that their brutal portrayal of codependency in action will help others struggling with similar issues. Lee additionally expressed the hope that his courageous vulnerability will finally thaw the ice-cold heart of his ex-girlfriend, Lucinda, whom he's never stopped loving.
Want to musically experience the irresistible allure of codependency for yourself? You can find the Codependent Truckers' latest releases, "I'm No One without You", "I'll Keep Hating Myself Until You Love Me", and "Please, Make It Worse" on Spotify, YouTube, and all the usual online places.
And don't worry too much about becoming emotionally enmeshed. If, like millions of others, you find yourself becoming a little overly dependent on these codependent crooners, would that really be such a bad thing?