Singer-songwriter Oliver Anthony became an overnight sensation with his song “Rich Men North of Richmond” in August, and the story behind the hit sent chills up my spine.
Anthony lives off-grid on 90 acres in Farmville, Virginia, with his three dogs, according to Whiskey Riff. You can picture Anthony’s life pretty easily through the heart-wrenching vocals and lyrics of his debut hit single. The song is one giant F-U to the men (and women) wearing suits in Washington D.C. and the corporate overlords who control them and screw up the rest of America for their own profits.
An acoustic version of the song was shared online by Radio VW, and it hit like a brick wall with those of us living out in the middle of nowhere, wondering what the heck is going on in our cities.
“Just want you to know I cried on my way home from the plant listening to this. I haven’t ever heard someone making music really talk about how it truly is out here. Had chills the whole time, I really hope you make it, dude, because you’re what we need right now,” one person wrote, according to Whiskey Riff.
Anthony’s music resonates with America’s working class like no other performer before him. A recent interview with Jason Howerton, revealed why.
Anthony’s past includes struggles with mental health, alcohol addiction and the despair felt by so many people navigating life in the 2020s. Things came to a head one night, and Anthony knew he had a decision to make. (RELATED: Country Music Star John Rich Explains What He Thinks Real Progress Is For Americans)
“Though he wasn’t a religious man, that night he promised God to get sober if he helped him follow his dream,” Howerton explained.
Anthony was only 30 days sober when someone reached out to help him record his songs to share online. Then John Rich came forward with an offer to produce Anthony’s full record.
Isn’t it just so incredible what can happen when you surrender yourself and your soul to God? I know I wouldn’t be here without having done the same.
It really is a shame what the world’s come to, but the love emanating from music like Anthony’s is part of our solution. That love comes directly from God, the only man who any of us should consider when making decisions with our lives and how to treat others.
You can watch his acoustic session here: