George Strait is serious about this honky-tonk thing, isn't he? The legend just released a new song in advance of his Honky Tonk Time Machine album. The title track is as advertised.

The western swinger sets an aggressive tempo that Strait keeps up with easily because, you know, he's George freakin' Strait. Like he's done for decades ("The Fireman," "Twang" and a couple dozen album cuts), the 66-year-old sings like there's a barroom crowd two-stepping in front of him. This audience has never been forgotten, even as Strait played the biggest stages in America.

Lyrically, "Honky Tonk Time Machine" isn't the sci-fi experiment the title suggests. It's actually another not-so-subtle reminder of how country music used to sound once upon a time. A feller drops change into a jukebox that still plays vinyl (if you find one of those, take a picture) and off we go. In an era of woke country, it's tempting to theorize Strait is making a statement, but that sucks the the fun out of this song. Just enjoy it.

The Honky Tonk Time Machine album drops March 29 and features more of what fans expect from Strait, a model of consistency in country music if there ever was one. Even at a late age he's bending the format to fit his needs instead of capitulating his core values. One has to consider that when the last honky-tonk has shuttered, Strait will be there singing the same songs to whatever comes next, and the audience will instinctively start to twirl.

Traditional Country Music Fans Will Dig Cody Johnson

George Strait's Custom-Built Mansion Is Amazing!