The musical subgenre of “beach country” is getting a comedic take with a new scripted podcast, “The Ballad of Uncle Drank,” coming from Audio Up with a parodic song score co-written largely by Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Audio Up CEO-founder “Jingle” Jared Gutstadt. The eight-part series will premiere Aug. 30 across SiriusXM’s audio platforms as well as other leading homes for podcasts.
The lead role is being split, with the perhaps not coincidentally named Uncle Kracker doing the singing and Gary Busey handling the rest. The script follows a veteran country singer with a bent for the beach who is said to represent a combination of the personas of Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and the lead character from “Eastbound and Down,” with some elements taken from the early life of Busey, who was a touring musician in the ’70s before he became a movie star.
“I feel Uncle Drank is one of my sub personality parts so there will be no acting required,” said Busey.
A trailer for the series. released today, indicates that the series will feature songs including “”Third WIfe’s a Charm,” “Hillbilly Hall of Fame,” “What Don’t Teqkillya WIll Make You Stronger” and “Biggest Dock of the Lake,” the last of which is part of the premiere episode and will go to music DSPs Aug. 26.
Other voice cast members include Luke Wilson, Chelcie Lynn, Billy Zane and Scarlett Burke, along with Kelley and Gutstadt themselves and — believe it or not — Texas comic country legend Kinky Friedman.
The faux-documentary format follows the “long-forgotten fictional country superstar… a lovable, drunken and free-spirited beach musician who traveled the world with his best friend Blendy, a talking blender, and then mysteriously disappeared in 1992” after a career dating back to the ’70s.
“Boating and fishing are my joint,” said Uncle Kracker in a statement. “So to work with a legend like Drank on ‘Biggest Dock on the Lake’ was a no-brainer.”
The series was is written and directed by Zach Selwyn, Audio Up’s VP of production, alongside Gutstadt. SiriusXM is on board as one of the podcast’s executive producers.
In the series’ fictional scenario, “Uncle Drank was widely known as the inventor of beach-country and trop rock,” Gutstadt explains. “He lived his life by worshiping the seven B’s: Bars, Birds, Beaches, Boats, Beers, Babes and of course… Bananas (for his mixed drinks)…. It is rumored that Drank even chose the color of the red solo cup. Originally they were orange.”
On a more serious level: “Aside from being truly hilarious, this is a great way to show innovation within our music business,” says Audio Up’s president of music, PJ Bloom. “Jared has a great track record writing for artists across many different genres. Now we are inventing artists of the future who live inside the podcast, but could ultimately tour, become brand ambassadors and create lucrative IP across film, television and streaming.”
The full soundtrack will be released after the first episode.
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