Miles Raymer
October 06, 2014 AT 03:00 PM EDT

Butch Walker‘s been knocking around the music biz since the late ’80s, playing in bands, recording solo records, and writing and producing for a bewildering array of artists ranging from Bowling for Soup to Taylor Swift. After spending so much time he’s somewhat predictably developed a jaded view of the whole machine, which is probably why he gets along so well with similarly seen-it-all types like Ryan Adams, who produced his new album, Afraid of Ghosts, and Johnny Depp, who plays on it.

But like a lot of guys who like to project a sardonic front, Walker’s kind of a softie at heart, which comes through loud and clear on the Ghosts track “Chrissie Hynde.” It’s an aching, country-tinged ballad about a universal condition: the desire to give the world the middle finger and just put on some Pretenders records.


https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/170511885?secret_token=s-uC2BI

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