Mary Kutter has come out swinging in 2024, blending family history and moral ambiguity into some of the catchiest country music you're likely to hear all year. "Devil's Money" unfolds like a gripping novel, drawing inspiration from her great-grandfather's daring exploits as a 1920s liquor bootlegger. The narrative is timeless, revealing a tale of success that came from beyond the confines of legality, as he selflessly invested his profits to nurture the community, culminating in the construction of a church. His life spent in an ethical grey area is expertly framed with religious motifs; his eternal fate is left in a similar state of uncertainty. This song not only tells a compelling story but also serves as a sterling example of modern pop-country. The melodies are meticulously crafted; every note is ear candy and every hook leads immediately to another hook. Production-wise, the track is polished to a mirror-like state. It's crisp and airy to at the opening, with accents of banjo to set an Appalachian backdrop, and when the chorus arrives with its overdriven guitars it hits like a runaway freight train. Mary Kutter's delivers a career standout vocal performance, brimming with confidence and delivering the lyrics with all the swagger of a moonshiner that's half a jug into Kentucky's finest. The truest mark of a remarkable life is if there are songs sung about you when you're gone; a century later, Mary Kutter is still keeping her great-grandaddy's legend alive with flair. Who knew genealogy could be so captivating?
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