Country music has never had a simple relationship with Mexico. While outlaws like Waylon Jennings once warned that there "ain't no God" on the other side of the border, Tim McGraw more recently took the opposing position, suggesting that God in fact created the country, but only as a place for trapped American adults to go when they needed a vacation.
No matter one's position in this rather limited point-counterpoint, the "Mexico song" has become a staple of nearly all mainstream country albums. Kip Moore, for instance, recently gave the genre a nostalgic turn on Up All Night's emotional center, "Everything but You"; Brad Paisley, never one to pass up a chuckle, rounded out last year's This Is Country Music with the Blake Shelton-featuring "Don't Drink the Water" ("No one I know / goes to Mexico / to drink the water anyways" rolls the punchline). Shelton, meanwhile, once pushed the senorita-chasing, Van Morrison-quoting "Playboys of the Southwestern" up into the country top 40, though the tune never caught on as successfully as Kenny Chesney's chart-topping "Beer and Mexico," Toby Keith's "Stays in Mexico," or Zac Brown's platinum-selling "Toes," the opener on the band's 2007 major-label debut, The Foundation.More »