Released at the end of January, the new album from John Wheeler is something of an unusual proposition. Having made his name as front man of cult group Hayseed Dixie, Wheeler has gone solo for a new album, his second, fittingly titled ‘Difficult #2 album’. You don’t have to work hard to recognise the subtext. Especially when you consider the first single is called ‘Too Much Poop to Flush’.
Those who groan at the title punnery though should look further into this album – one on which Wheeler slightly moves away from the straighter folk leanings of Hayseed Dixie and enters a slightly more roots-rock environment. It’s a album which does two things.
One, it establishes Wheeler as a solo performer of note, and though his Hayseed Dixie material is strong as ever, he has plenty to offer of his own volition. Two, the album makes some good points about the way people live their lives, while avoiding the speechifying and preaching that often comes with this approach. ‘Too Much Poop to Flush’ is a great example of this.
Taken literally, the title suggests a track of a very different tone to the one above. Instead, the song makes a very important point – if the human race keeps making such a mess of the planet, we will reach a point where we won’t be able to clean up after ourselves. It’s a point which is made often in mainstream media, but John Wheeler is taking a different approach, and should be applauded for that.