Released in May and written by Kelley Lovelace, Kurt Allison, Neil Thrasher and Tully Kennedy, the song takes a direct shot at rioting and looting in big cities while also taking a strong stance on gun control:
“Got a gun that my granddad gave me They say one day they’re gonna round up Well, that sh*t might fly in the city, good luck
Try that in a small town See how far ya make it down the road ‘Round here, we take care of our own You cross that line, it won’t take long For you to find out, I recommend you don’t Try that in a small town”
He released a video for the song last week that features imagery of riots and looting from around the world, while Aldean sings in front of the Maury County courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee.
But many online have accused the outspoken country singer of featuring racist lyrics and imagery in both the song and video, with the outcry leading CMT to pull the video from their rotation. And still others cried foul on a pro-gun anthem coming from the headliner of the Route 91 Harvest Festival, after Aldean was on stage when the massacre broke out in Las Vegas in 2017.
And during his show in Cincinnati last night, Jason took a few minutes to address the controversy with the crowd directly, taking aim at “cancel culture” and saying that “everybody’s entitle to their opinion… [but] it doesn’t mean it’s true”:
“Everybody having fun so far tonight? Well I gotta tell you guys, man, it’s been a long ass week. It’s been a long week, and I’ve seen a lot of stuff suggesting I’m this, suggesting I’m that.
Here’s the thing, here’s the thing, here’s one thing I feel: I feel like everybody’s entitled to their opinion. You can think something all you want to, it doesn’t mean it’s true. What I am is a proud American, I’m proud to be from here.
I love our country, I want to see it restored to what it once was before all this bullshit started happening to us. I love my country, I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that, I can tell you that right now.”
The crowd then broke into a rousing “USA” chant before Jason continued, adding that country music fans have rallied behind him this week and thanking them for doing so:
“Here’s what I wanna say. A lot of things out there, you guys know how it is, cancel culture is a thing, that’s something that, if people don’t like what you say, they try and make sure that they can cancel you.
Which means, try and ruin your life, ruin everything. One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans that could see through a lot of the bullshit, alright. I saw country music fans rally like I’ve never seen before, and it was pretty badass to watch, I gotta say, thank you guys so much.
So I have people asking me, ‘Everything’s going on with this song, do you think you’re gonna play it tonight, do you think you’re not gonna play it?'”
And he had a pretty simple response to the question of whether or not he’d be playing the new song last night, saying that “the people have spoken… very, very loud this week”:
“And I said, you know, the people that come to my shows, you guys know what I’m about. You know what I stand for, I’ve never shied away from that at all.
And I know a lot of you guys grew up like I did, kinda had the same values, the same principles that I have, which is we want to take our kids to a move and not worry about some asshole coming in there and shooting up the theater.
So when somebody asks me, ‘Hey man, do you think you’re gonna play this song tonight?’ The answer was simple: the people have spoken, and you guys spoke very, very loud this week.”
He then went on to perform “Try That In A Small Town” for the enthusiastic crowd, and you can watch the full video with his comments here:
Jason Aldean speech before performing “Try That in a Small Town” in Cincinnati yesterday. 👏👏👏