On April 22, 2015, Hobo Nephews Of Uncle Frank’s ode to quarterback Brett Favre, “Old Number Four”, was released as the opening track on the B side of their new album American Shuffle. CBS Green Bay (where Brett Favre played most of his career with the Green Bay Packers) were the first to rave about it.
“Brett Favre has his own theme song...Old Number Four does a good job of summing up Favre's Ol’ Gunslinger mentality...As far as songs about retired NFL quarterbacks go, this is probably the best one.”
The Star Tribune in Minneapolis quoted the Hobo Nephews as having written the song while the state of Minnesota was in mourning following Favre and the Vikings loss in the 2010 NFC championship game, and released a video of Brett Favre photos as a Minnesota Viking along with audio of Old Number Four.
“There are heroes and myth, mystic and lore,
But there’s never been nothing like Old Number Four...
You gave all you had, then you gave more.
They’ll never forget you Old Number Four”
By the following day, Old Number Four had been covered nationally by ESPN, NBC, FOX, CBS and more, including an epic rant on The Jim Rome Show.
“Brett Favre apparently has an anthem. A couple of dudes in a coffee shop have dropped a song for the old gunslinger. These guys call themselves Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, which to me is perfect for the OG because the last time we saw that dude, he looked like he had been stowing away on a freight train with his napsack living off some sardines. This song is about when Uncle Brett was seeing better days. The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank were so moved by that immortal 2010 title game that they picked up their harmonicas and their guitars and they dropped a folk song about the folk hero.” - Jim Rome
Jim Rome, in his brazen way, hit it right on the head. One of a folk singer’s responsibilities is to sing folk songs about folk heroes. Woody Guthrie’s “Joe Dimaggio Done It Again,” or Bob Dylan’s “Catfish” are part of the tradition of American songwriters tapping into the romanticism we have with our sports heroes. Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank continue this folk music tradition on American Shuffle with Ian Alexy’s “Old Number Four” and Teague Alexy’s “The Day Billy Martin Quits.”
Old Number Four (Consider It Correspondence Records) is now available as a digital single wherever digital music is sold.