JR Carrollhas a way with words, which makes him one hell of a songwriter, and his incredible vocals pack a punch with the powerful words he sings.
While often, we, as fans and listeners, do not know the thoughts in the artist’s head that make that pen meet the paper to form a song, the times we do get a glimpse into a backstory often follow with a powerful message.
JR Carroll took to Instagram today to share the emotional backstory of “Preacher Man” and how recently the song had a shift in perspective for him.
He writes in the caption of the post:
“This isn’t an easy thing for me to talk about, but every night after shows, I have a few people come up to me and tell me about how much this song means to them, and I feel like it’s only right to tell y’all what it means to me.
Growing up in a Pentecostal household and an apostolic Pentecostal one, no less, my current career path wasn’t really an option, and it certainly wasn’t one that was acceptable for me. I wrote this song trying to deal with the chaos that my decision to chase this dream seemed to create in my personal life and to try and show my dad and my family that I was still the kind of man they raised me to be.
I’m humbled and grateful that so many of y’all have listened and shared your stories with me. The thing I’ve learned most through the last few years is that we’re all going through the same things, and no matter how consuming and overwhelming and isolating your situation seems to be, you’re not alone, and someone else out there has made it through it.
Thanks for listening and reading if you made it this far. New music coming soon.”
Carroll opens up at the beginning of the video, expanding on his thoughts behind the song.
He tells the viewers that this song was written to his father in an attempt to convince him that he was not a bad person for pursuing a career that was not supported by the ideals of his upbringing.
“I’ve complained… that I wish my dad would show up and come to a show. That’s not to say he isn’t a good father because he is a good father. But that’s just to say that sometimes principles get in the way of things, and that sucks.
Not too long ago, I played a festival with Zach and the boys about 25-30 minutes away from my house to 20,000 people, and my mom surprised me and came to the show.
Zach let me get up and sing this song…”Preacher Man,” for her.
Ever since then, I’ve decided this song isn’t me trying to convince someone I’m worth loving- it’s me thanking somebody for loving me when I didn’t feel like I was worth loving.”
Hearing JR Carroll speak that last sentence put me in a puddle.
It is hard as hell to open up about emotional feelings like that, and even harder to open up about those topics to an audience that is going to have responses darting all over the board.
As the line in his song says… I am sure he is making his parents proud.