EXCLUSIVE — ‘We Wrote the Truth and These Days the Left Hates the Truth’: Nashville Hitmakers Launch ‘Try That in a Small Town’ Podcast Featuring Jason Aldean

Photo courtesy of Ali Thrasher/Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Country music megastar Jason Aldean’s smash-hit single “Try That in a Small Town” was that rare anthem — a work of pop culture that captured a volatile political moment with such force and clarity that it became a flashpoint for heated debate, media gamesmanship, and rampant projection — mostly on the part of the angry left, which accused the song of being racist. In other words, “Try That in a Small Town” took on a life of its own, well beyond anything its creators could have foreseen. Now the writers behind the 2023 hit are looking to turn that headline-making controversy into something positive with a new podcast (the second episode featuring Jason Aldean himself) that they hope will return some of the spotlight to those small American towns, and maybe some bigger ones, that are referenced in the song.

Country music hit songwriter Neil Thrasher (Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney), one of the song’s four writers, sat down with Mike Slater, host of Breitbart News Daily on Sirius XM Patriot 125. During the conversation, Thrasher explained how he hopes the podcast will become a force for “good in the world” and will enable them to “use our gifts and the talent that God gave us to help small towns.”

The idea for “Try That in Small Town” came from one of the song’s co-writer’s and Grammy Award-nominated songwriter Kelley Lovelace who was watching news footage of violent assaults taking place in New York, including random pedestrians being sucker punched.

“He saw a couple of clips of those and he just got madder and madder and that title just popped into his head,” Thrasher said of his songwriting partner. “He called me and he goes, ‘I don’t think we’re playing golf today man.'”

The videos of New Yorkers being assaulted provided the song’s opening line — “Sucker punch somebody on a sidewalk” — followed by a litany of lawlessness plaguing major American cities: carjackings, robberies, riots, and assaults on police officers.

“That title instantly was like, boom — all these images of everything that’s going on in New York City — the flag burnings, the cop hating and all that stuff — those images instantly came to us.”

Country music veteran Neil Thrasher. (Photo courtesy of Neil Thrasher)

At the same time, the songwriters sensed they were in sensitive territory.

“We stopped about half-way through the first verse and I said dude, no one is going to cut this song,” Thrasher said. “I said there is only one artist on the planet that would ever even take a shot at this — that was Jason Aldean.”

Along with co-writers and Jason Aldean Band members Tully Kennedy and Kurt Allison, they finished the song and created a demo which they pitched to Aldean, who responded quickly.

“He was ready to put something out that made a little noise and got a little attention,” Thrasher said. “We just didn’t have any idea it was going to make this much noise.”

Musicians Kurt Allison (L) and Tully Kennedy of the Jason Aldean Band perform during his My Kinda Party Tour at the Gibson Amphitheatre on October 27, 2011 in Universal City, California. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Media coverage of “Try That in Small Town” exploded when in July, CMT pulled the music video from broadcast following a pressure campaign from establishment media outlets that accused the song of being racist and pro-lynching.

Many outlets, especially NBC News, obsessed over shots in the music video showing the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee. The historic courthouse was the site of the 1927 lynching of a black man named Henry Choate.

But the courthouse has served as a filming location for a number of movies and TV shows — including Hannah Montana: The Movie, starring Miley Cyrus — without ever stirring up the media’s wrath.

As for the left’s accusations that the song is racist, Thrasher replied: “We are the furthest thing from racist you can get.”

The media also obsessed over footage from the deadly 2020 Black Lives Matter riots featured in the video. But the race of the rioters is mostly indiscernible since they are almost all wearing masks or Antifa-style face coverings. And the song itself makes no references to race or skin color.

Ultimately, the Streisand effect kicked in, sending the curiosity factor through the roof. The music video saw its online viewership skyrocket while digital sales of the song also soared.

“The song’s not a threat. It’s just the truth. It’s just common sense,” Thrasher told Breitbart News Daily.

As for the crime plaguing so many American cities, “you’re not going to see that go down in a town square in a hole in the wall in Tennessee — it’s not going to happen. And everyone knows that. They just couldn’t wait to bash the truth. We wrote the truth. And these days, the left hates the truth. They hate it.”

The new podcast — also titled “Try That in a Small Town” — is designed to shift the focus back to the small towns, the people, and the values that the song praises. Thrasher said he hopes to take the podcast on the road to raise money for local municipalities, rural areas, and veterans.

“Let the song take us literally to small towns,” he said, and let us “use our gifts and talent that God gave us to help small towns.”

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com


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