After an accidental hit with ‘Red Solo Cup,’ Toby Keith returns to his regularly scheduled programming with a new song, ‘Beers Ago.’ The cut is another country rocker with Keith playing the role of story teller.

‘Beers Ago’ is in the middle of the pack on ‘Clancy’s Tavern,’ but as a whole, that album is Keith’s best in years. There’s no doubt he’s finding new life in his 50s — if only he’d quit tarnishing great stories with lowest common denominator cliches. The chorus illustrates that point. Measuring time in beers? “Yuk, yuk, yuk, yuk …”

And we spent what little bit of money we had / On wintergreen Skoal and main street gas / Go get your girl, go make the drag / If you’re lucky you can take her cross the rail road tracks / Where the man in the moon works his magic / On the second runner up of the 4H pageant / Seems like yesterday, even though / That was fourteen hundred and fifty two beers ago.”

Each verse feels like a look at Keith’s early life. His rapid-fire lyrics fit like pieces to a puzzle, with smart rhymes and imaginative references that captivate. “I had a hand me down ride painted rattle can red / Second hand tires with poor boy tread / Made a lot of almost love in the bed of that truck that got stuck a lot,” he sings to start the song.

Just letter jacket boys singing Jerry Jeff songs / Drinking everything we could get our hands on / Learning ‘bout right by doin’ it wrong / Hopin’ we didn’t get caught.”

‘Beers Ago’ will be a hit, possibly even another chart-topper for Keith. It won’t have the staying power of some of his others, however, as it relies on a joke college kids have been telling at parties for decades.

Listen to Toby Keith’s ‘Beers Ago’