Trace Adkins Sings a Townes Van Zandt Classic in Key ‘Monarch’ Reveal

by Suzanne Halliburton

Monarch, finally, let viewers know who Trace Adkins killed way back in the premiere. And the country star leaned into a Townes Van Zandt song to serve as the soundtrack for the big reveal.

After all, “Waitin’ Around to Die,” is a dark and mournful enough song to weave into a plotline in regards to the murder of a man abusing his wife. Adkins shared a clip of him singing the classic from Tuesday’s episode. Give it a listen and we’ll tell you about the Monarch reveal and the throwback song Adkins performed. As Adkins noted, you can listen to his cover on Spotify.

Adkins actually sang two covers on Tuesday’s Monarch. But the Townes Van Zandt song was the key. Van Zandt, who died in 1997, once said that the song was the “first serious (one) I ever wrote.” It also probably was about this Texan’s life, since it’s written about someone in the throes of addiction, who basically was waiting around to die. Van Zandt included the song on his first studio album back in 1968. It also was featured in the 1981 documentary Heartworn Highways, which gave us the stories and music of some of the best singers from the outlaw country genre.

Townes van Zandt performs in 1992. (Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

Oh, My: Here’s the Big Monarch Reveal

Speaking of outlaws, Adkins’ character, Albie Roman, shot his ex-son-in-law dead in Tuesday’s episode “About Last Night.” So yes, that was Clive Grayson in the grave we saw in the Monarch premiere. But it wasn’t as simple of a killing as the show has teased in the first five episodes.

As Albie sang, the show allowed everyone to see all the details in a flashback sequence. Clive had been the secret person blackmailing Dottie Roman (Susan Sarandon). He also was mad that Nicky Roman, his wife, had cut off all his money. Clive confronted Nicky. He hit her, grabbed her by the neck and pinned her against the wall. Then Gigi Roman, using the country music award Nicky had just won, knocked Clive in the head. Gigi and Nicky assumed Clive was dead, so Nicky called Albie to come help them.

Trace Adkins and Anna Friel (Nicky) from Tuesday’s episode. (FOX.)

And here’s where Monarch got strange. It is a prime-time soap opera, after all. Albie placed Clive’s body in his truck. But after he dug a grave, Albie discovered Clive disappeared. Clive grabbed one of Albie’s guns and had a shoot out. Finally, Albie got a clean shot. This time, Clive really and truly was dead. Luke, Albie’s son, drove Clive’s car away from the house, so no one would know he had been there.

Monarch also showed other details about Albie. He discovered that Catt Phoenix was his long-lost daughter (Dottie burned up her mother in a barn fire). So to make it right, Albie sang with his granddaughter, Ana. Monarch Records signed Ana a few weeks ago.

Then there were more details about Albie’s rocky relationship with Dottie. It turns out that Albie bought into his own outlaw image and would often get drunk and destroy his hotel rooms. Dottie said she’d no longer clean up Albie’s messes. And when Albie wanted to serenade her, Dottie shot him in the leg. It was the come-to-Jesus moment he needed. That’s also when Dottie rebranded Albie as the “Texas Truthteller.” If you like the name, Monarch introduced the whiskey in Tuesday’s episode.

The show returns with a new episode on Nov. 8.