Whiskey (song)

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Single by Jana Kramer
from the album Jana Kramer
Released November 5, 2012 (2012-11-05)
Format Music download
Genre Country
Length 3:36
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Catt Gravitt
Sam Mizell
Producer(s) Scott Hendricks
Jana Kramer singles chronology
"Why Ya Wanna"
"I Hope It Rains"

"Whiskey" is the title of a song recorded by American actress and country music artist Jana Kramer. It was released in November 2012 as the second single from her self-titled debut album. The song was written by Catt Gravitt and Sam Mizell.[1]

Writing and Inspiration[edit]

“Whiskey” was written by songwriters Catt Gravitt and Sam Mizell. Mizell said she came up with the title and concept of the song and then shared it with Gravitt. Mizell said of writing the song with Gravitt, "Catt is one of the best writers out there these days," Mizell explains. "It was her idea to have everybody call him 'cornbread' and all that stuff. I was like, 'Oh man. . .that's great!' I had a little bit of the chorus, but then she kind of took off with it. We kind of messed around on the chorus for a while, and the song kind of took off on its own." [2] Kramer told the Boot in an interview, “… [the song] says, 'The burn, the sting and the high. I should have just called him whiskey, because that's exactly what he does to me.' I love it. It's a little bit darker, which is nice and a little more rockin' once it gets into the chorus." [3] Mizell continued on of how the lyrics got to Kramer “We wrote it several years ago, and she was working with Jana at the time… Catt played it for her, and Jana really liked it. They ended up recording it, and they put it on that ‘One Tree Hill’ TV show, I think in 2011.” [2]


“Whiskey” was produced by Scott Hendricks. Jonathan Pappalardo, of My Kind of Country said of the tune, “The production is the track’s real achievement, though. Besides Zac Brown Band, there hasn’t been this much audible fiddle and acoustic guitar on a mainstream single in a long time, and she and producer Scott Hendricks deserve credit for not marring the track with any electric guitars or loud crashing drums. I do wish he’d gone further into neo-traditional territory, leaving out the poppish ‘ooohs’ in the intro and adding in steel guitar, but you can’t fault him for slicking it up just enough to get it airplay. In any event, “Whiskey” is allowed to properly breathe, and it’s a refreshing change of pace from the normal mainstream fare." [4]

Critical reception[edit]

Billy Dukes of Taste of Country gave the song three and a half stars out of five, writing that "it’s tough to turn away from her hurt, which on this song is aided by a tight lyric and sensible mix of pop and traditional country styling" and "while her souped-up southern charm might be a bit over the top, it actually works to sell the heartache."[5] Matt Bjorke of Roughstock gave the song a favorable review, calling it a "mid-tempo ballad that shows off Jana Kramer's natural alto vocal delivery and her ability to wring each emotional note out of the lyrics."[6] Ben Foster of Country Universe gave the song a B+ grade, saying that "though things are glossed-up just enough to keep from offending P.C. country radio standards, both the production and vocal stay out of the way of the lyrics, and the moaning fiddle intro feels like the return of an old friend."[7]

Music video[edit]

The music video premiered in January 2013.[8] The video kicks off with Kramer lying on a couch: her hair is messy, she’s curled up under a blanket and it looks like she hasn’t gotten a lot of sleep lately. As she sings the first few frames of the song, she starts to daydream about the series of events that brought her to where she is now. In her flashback, Kramer finds herself at a bonfire party where she first meets a guy that she probably should have stayed away from. Shortly after they lock eyes, someone behind him says something that doesn’t go over well. Kramer’s new love interest turns around and knocks the other guy down, pouncing on top of him and pummeling him in the face until a few other party-goers pull him off. After the fight, Kramer cuddles up with this bad boy by the fire, sharing a few pulls from his bottle of whiskey. They go back to her trailer together where they share a hot and heavy night. It gets cut short when a cop breaks in the door and cuffs Kramer’s new boyfriend. He gets hauled away in a police car while she looks on, heartbroken. [9]

Chart performance[edit]

"Whiskey" debuted at number 56 on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay chart for the week of November 10, 2012, and later debuted at number 44 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of January 19, 2013. It also debuted at number 99 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week of May 14, 2011 and at number 88 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart for the week of May 14, 2011. It returned to the Hot 100 chart for the week of April 20, 2013, spending a week at number 94. The song has sold 320,000 copies in the US as of May 2013.[10]

Chart (2012-2013) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[11] 88
Canada Country (Billboard)[12] 47
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 94
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[14] 25
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[15] 27

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Position
US Country Airplay (Billboard)[16] 93
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[17] 89


  1. ^ Conaway, Alanna (November 30, 2012). "Jana Kramer, ‘Whiskey’ – Lyrics Uncovered". Taste of Country. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Conaway, Alanna. "Jana Kramer, ‘Whiskey’ – Lyrics Uncovered". tasteofcountry.com. Taste of Country. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Betts, Stephen L. "Jana Kramer, 'Whiskey' Video Pours on the Drama (WATCH)". theboot.com. the Boot. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Pappalardo, Jonathan. "Single Review – Jana Kramer – ‘Whiskey’". mykindofcountry.wordpress.com. My Kind of Country. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Dukes, Billy (November 7, 2012). "Jana Kramer, ‘Whiskey’ – Song Review". Taste of Country. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ Bjorke, Matt (November 30, 2012). "The Weekly Single Recap: November 30: Montgomery Gentry, LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood and More". Roughstock. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ Foster, Ben (November 6, 2012). "Single Review: Jana Kramer, “Whiskey”". Country Universe. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ Geller, Wendy (January 15, 2013). "Jana Kramer Steams Up Screens With New Video, ‘Whiskey’". Yahoo!. Retrieved January 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ Pacella, Megan. "Jana Kramer Releases Heartbreaking 'Whiskey' Video". TasteofCountry,com. Taste of Country. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  10. ^ Matt Bjorke (May 1, 2013). "Country Chart News - The Top 30 Digital Singles: The Week of May 1 2013: George Jones Hits Chart; Darius and FGL Tops". Roughstock. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Jana Kramer Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Jana Kramer.
  12. ^ "Jana Kramer Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Canada Country for Jana Kramer.
  13. ^ "Jana Kramer Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Jana Kramer.
  14. ^ "Jana Kramer Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Country Airplay for Jana Kramer.
  15. ^ "Jana Kramer Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Jana Kramer.
  16. ^ "Billboard Country Update for December 16, 2013". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 16, 2013. p. 21. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Best of 2013: Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2013.