Travis Tritt Defends Jason Aldean’s ‘Try That In A Small Town’

“It is simply expressing a point of view that many American people share…” Tritt says of the Aldean song.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 19, 2023

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Travis Tritt; Photo Provided, Jason Aldean; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Travis Tritt is stepping up to defend fellow Georgia native Jason Aldean in the midst of controversy surrounding “Try That In A Small Town.”

On Wednesday afternoon (July 19), the country music icon took to social media to showcase his support for Aldean. 

“For the record, I love the new @Jason_Aldean single, ‘Try That In A Small Town,’” Tritt wrote on Twitter. “IMO, this song isn’t promoting violence as some have suggested.” 

Tritt said he firmly stands by the song, and that he thinks it represents the viewpoint of many Americans who are opposed to the escalating violence witnessed from certain activist groups. He also emphasized that he doesn’t think the song endorses violence but rather reflects the belief that such behavior would not be tolerated in many communities across the United States.

“It is simply expressing a point of view that many American people share which is against the obvious violence that we have seen from the likes of so many ‘activists groups’ in this country in recent years and the belief shared by millions that this behavior would not be tolerated by many people in many places across the USA,” he continued. 

Travis Tritt concluded, “God bless America and all the people in it.”

He later shared a second Tweet that reads, “I would also like to remind my friend, @Jason_Aldean that Twitter and social media in general is not a real place. The views shared by many accounts on this platform are not actually representative of the vast majority of the population of this country. Say what you want to say and be who you want to be. Damn the social media torpedoes.”

Tritt and Aldean have a history together. In 2022, Travis Tritt joined Jason Aldean on his Rock N’ Roll Cowboy Tour and they previously shared the stage at CMA Fest 2014.

Aldean dubbed Tritt one of his musical heroes and shared that he grew up listening to his music. In 2022 he told Everything Nash,  “I remember going to see Travis Tritt at the Omni in Atlanta when I was a teenager, and he was one of those guys that did the country Southern rock thing, and I just thought that was so cool.”

Social media outrage surrounding “Try That In A Small Town” began after the July 14 release of the music video. As the video and song began to circulate online, many social media users accused the singer of being pro-gun and racist. Listeners also dubbed the track a “dog whistle” and believed that the lyrics pushed a right wing agenda. 

Jason Aldean recently broke his silence to address the backlash and defend his song and music video.

“In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests,” Aldean explained. “These references are not only meritless, but dangerous.”

He went on to detail what the song means from his perspective. 

“There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music – this one goes too far.”

YouTube video

Jason Aldean continued, “‘Try That In A Small Town,’ for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief. Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences. My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know that a lot of us in this Country don’t agree on how we get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to- that’s what this song is about.”

He then spoke out on the comments users made about him being the subject of one of the world’s deadliest mass shootings.

“As so many pointed out, I was present at Route 91- where so many lost their lives – and our community recently suffered another heartbreaking tragedy. NO ONE, including me, wants to continue to see senseless headlines or families ripped apart.”

Jason Aldean’s statement was released after social media erupted with comments and criticisms around his music video. 

Many users pointed out that the music video featured a performance recorded in front of the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee. This is the site of the 1927 lynching of Henry Choate, an 18-year-old African American man that was accused of attacking a white woman.

Others were outraged by the news clips in the music video, which included visuals of police brutality and unrest during the height of the pandemic in 2020 as well as scenes of riots and looting that destroyed American cities. 

“I just watched/heard about 45 seconds of the new Jason Aldean video/song and it is absolute right wing propaganda. ‘try that in a small town, we take care of our own’ ok well the small town my wife grew up in knew of abuse and no one did anything,” one Twitter user said.

Another user said the music video “rips into the left-wing riots, soft on crime governance in cities, gun control, and other leftist degradation.” Someone else believes the song is an “ode to a sundown town, suggesting people be beaten or shot for expressing free speech.”

The singer was also criticized for releasing a song with a pro-gun message as he was on stage at the Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas in 2017 when a gunman shot and killed more than 60 people. To date, this remains the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. 

“Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that shit might fly in the city, good luck / Try that in a small town,” Aldean sings.

Jason Aldean; Photo by Brian Higbee
Jason Aldean; Photo by Brian Higbee

On Tuesday afternoon (July 18), it was revealed that CMT had pulled the “Try That In A Small Town” music video from rotation.  

According to Billboard, the network pulled the music video on Monday without any explanation. 

CMT reportedly declined to comment on their decision to stop playing Aldean’s music video, however, the network did confirm with the outlet that the clip has officially been removed from its platform. 

Produced by Michael Knox and written by Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, Kelley Lovelace, and Neil Thrasher, “Try That In A Small Town” impacted Country radio on May 22.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.