I don’t think I ever expected to see Chase Rice and Read Southall Band on the same song, but I’m actually not mad about it.
Chase has a brand new record out today, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell, which finds him taking his sound and message as an artist in a completely new direction… as is quite evident on “Bench Seat,” as one quick example.
And that is certainly no accident.
Chase was admittedly a huge part of the bro-country era that plagued country radio for the better part of 10 years (and still some today, though it’s certainly getting a lot better), and was a co-writer on the song that really started it all, Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.”
He says that song was lightning in a bottle, in a certain sense, and he spent years trying to find that again, only to realize, it was never coming around and he was making music that didn’t really represent or speak to him personally for over a decade.
And for this project, he was finally able to find himself as an artist and start making the music that he’s always truly wanted to:
“People always say that Nashville is a 10-year town; that it usually takes 10 years of grinding to finally reach that moment of breakthrough success.
For me, though, I was part of a group of songwriters that found lightning in a bottle immediately when I moved to town. It was a wild ride that I hung onto and tried to replicate as much as I could. What I’ve realized, though, is that I never identified who I am as my own artist.
Now, a decade later, I know that my 10 years in this town were all about discovering my true self and getting to this point of releasing an album that I can honestly say reflects the man I want to be from start to finish.”
The album features his late father, Daniel Rice, with its cover art, and is full of some pretty deep self-reflection and honest lyrics, which was largely inspired by the person his father raised him to be and trying to live up to that vision:
“My dad was one of those good guys you read about – tough, hardworking, always helping other people out. I try to live my life in a way that would make him proud.
I haven’t always measured up to that, but I get closer to that man I want to be and the man he’d be proud of every single day.
“Making this album was a big step towards that musically, too. Not only is it the most vulnerable I’ve ever been, it’s also something he’d enjoy listening to and is full of stories I wish I could tell him”
One track in particular stuck out to me the first time I saw the tracklist, though, which is a tune called “Oklahoma” and features some of Red Dirts finest, the Read Southall Band.
It was actually written by Chase and Read, along with William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood and Oscar Charles, and at nearly eight minutes long, is a stark departure from any song of his I’ve ever heard before.
It’s really a simple ballad about the wild west and never wanting to leave Oklahoma, and he also name drops Cross Canadian Ragweed, the legendary Okie band, which is a natural nod to one of the most influential bands to come out of the Sooner state.
Read’s vocals add a really cool, almost haunting element to the song, which features a three-minute outro that was recorded with a live band in Chase’s own living room.
They’re an unlikely pair in the larger country world, to say the very least, but honestly, I love that about it and it’s cool to see Chase’s evolution as an artist taking him in this direction.
Check it out, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised:
I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell tracklist:
1. Walk That Easy (Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles)
2. All Dogs Go To Hell (Chase Rice, Joshua Miller, John Byron)
3. Way Down Yonder (Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass, Corey Crowder)
4. Key West & Colorado (Chase Rice, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Hunter Phelps)
5. Bench Seat (Chase Rice)
6. Life Part Of Livin’ (Chase Rice)
7. Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer (Chase Rice, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Justin Thomas)
8. Oklahoma feat. Read Southall Band (Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles, Read Southall)
9. I Walk Alone (Chase Rice, Jaxson Free, Josh Hoge)
10. Sorry Momma (Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson)
11. If I Were Rock & Roll (Album Version) (Chase Rice)
12. Goodnight Nancy feat. Boy Named Banjo (Chase Rice, Oscar Charles, Barton Davies, William Reames, Jonathan Sherwood)
13. I Hate Cowboys (Chase Rice, Michael Hardy, Ross Copperman, Brad Tursi)