“Dare Aldean to write his next single himself” Jason Isbell blasts Jason Aldean for Try That In A Small Town

Jason Isbell has slammed Jason Aldean over his controversial new single Try That In a Small Town, and Jake Owens has jumped to his defence.

[L-R] Jake Owens, Jason Isbell and Jason Aldean

Credit: Getty Images

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Jason Isbell has weighed in on the controversy surrounding country star Jason Aldean’s latest song, Try That In A Small Town – and has received his share of support and backlash from the wider country community for his typically uncompromising and withering comments.

Aldean has defended the meaning behind the track despite not being listed as a writer on the track, causing Isbell to post to his Twitter, “Dare Aldean to write his next single himself. That’s what we try in my small town”.

For the uninitiated, the debate revolves around Aldean’s latest single Try That in a Small Town, which has sparked considerable outrage over its alleged racist and ‘pro-lynching’ lyrics and imagery in both the song and video.

The music video, which has since been pulled from Country Music Television (CMT), features Aldean singing in front of the Maury county courthouse in Tennessee – the site of the lynching of Henry Choate in 1927 – interspersed with footage of protests, violence and crime. The song also features lyrics ‘Try that in a small town/ See how far ya make it down the road/ Around here, we take care of our own.’

While Aldean has taken to social media to defend himself, many country stars — from big and small towns alike — have spoken out against the track, including Sheryl Crow, who tweeted that, “There’s nothing small-town or American about promoting violence.”

Originally released in May, Try That in a Small Town was actually written by Kelley Lovelace, Kurt Allison, Neil Thrasher, and Tully Kennedy and produced by Aldean’s longtime producer Michael Knox.

Isbell’s comments have stirred up their fair share of ire from Aldean fans, whom the guitarist has been enjoying baiting in his usual laconic style on Twitter, but also from at least one fellow artist – country star Jake Owen.

“Jason, you’re always the first to get behind your keyboard and spout off with this stupid sh*t,” he wrote. “In ‘my small town’ you just walk up to the guy and be a man to his face if you want the smoke… not tweet it at him…. Tough guy.”

Shortly after, Isbell followed up with a second tweet tagging Aldean: “Ok here ya go Jason Aldean, I’m challenging you to write a song yourself. All alone. If you’re a recording artist, make some art. I want to hear it,’ adding minutes later “Seriously how do you defend the content of a song you weren’t even in the room for? You just got it from your producer. If you’d been there when it was written, you’d be listed as a writer. We all know how this works.”

The musician has also addressed Owen’s criticisms head one, writing “What really gets me about this is that it’s saying “if you don’t believe you can physically overpower me, you aren’t allowed to publicly disagree with me.” What does that say to the people in your life who aren’t big strong boys? They just have to shut up?”

As if that wasn’t enough, Isbell soon found someone who was very prepared to defend his honour in a physical fashion as Owen had implied he should – one-time WWE and current Impact pro-wrestler Eric Young. Young responded to to Isbell’s tweet that he would, “fight anyone Jason Isbell wants me to in his stead!” Isbell has since described him as his ‘qualified champion’, in what is increasingly a very silly situation.

Read Aldean’s statement denying the accusations about the themes and intent of the song in full below.


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