You can also listen to “No Simple Machine” and the rest of The Grand Theatre Vol. 2 streaming on

MURRY: It cracks me up to hear Rhett write as a tough cowboy type. He lives in the country now, y’ know. He’s turned into a danged ol’ redneck.


Girls go crazy for guys who talk funny
and men who treat them mean

Lord knows that’s the truth. And that’s rock-n-roll: truth well told. This is a rockin’ number that swings. Or a swingin’ number that rocks. I’ve heard this one on the Sirius Outlaw Country station already, and it doesn’t surprise me that they gravitated to it — there’s a confident swagger punctuated with a vicious lead guitar that makes you want to crank this one up loud.

STEPHANIE: My favorite song from this album is different every day, but “No Simple Machine” is always in the top three. Marie and I saw them perform this song for the first time in Rochester, NY a few months ago and I was immediately smitten with this bar-brawly romance. This is sure to be yet another fan favorite.

In my (four-hour) dream set-list, “No Simple Machine” would follow “Barrier Reef.” The Serial Lady Killer has met his match with the chivalrous version of himself. Now he has his pride and he wants to defend his lady.

He said, who’s this fool on your arm
And I said, let me at him
His bell begs to get rung
And his nose begs to get flattened
Kept your composure, I’ll give you credit
You led me away from that scene
He might have had you, but he never had you
You are no simple machine

Unlike the guy in “Barrier Reef” who “goes through the motions with her,” this smarter, wiser man has what it takes to make a girl forget about that mistake at The Empty Bottle.

Just give me one night
To wipe the slate clean
Yeah, it’s gonna take all night
You are no simple machine

MARIE: One of the reasons I never ever tire of Old 97’s is their ability to successfully tackle a wide variety of musical genres. So far on Volume 2 we have a ballad, rock, Brit Pop, garage and now good old-fashioned country. “No Simple Machine” is a honkytonk treasure of a drunken bar fight of a song. It’s chock full of vivid imagery of male posturing between the man of the hour and the scoundrel whose place he took.

He said, who’s this fool on your arm
And I said, Let me at him
Well his bell begs to get rung
And his nose begs to get flattened

I love that line. Can’t you just see these two Alphas bumping chests? Aaaah, but like all of Rhett’s heroines, this cowgirl is a smart gal who’s no pushover…

You’re not a girl who’s easily swayed
By quick-witted, sure-footed dancers
Yeah your heart is as large as your great big brain
But sometimes there is no answer
You had your eyes closed and he saw you coming
His good one’s the one side you seen
Ah he tried to break you, but he didn’t realize
You are no simple machine

This song’s charming country twang is destined to get the crowd up and swaying, beer in hand, but it’s the abundance of these clever turns of phrase that will have everyone hitting the repeat button over and over and over, singing along with Rhett in his native Texas tongue. Another one on my long list of favorites from this disc, this one makes me want to open my car windows wide, crank it to eleven and seriously disturb the peace.

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