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Jason Aldean Really Loves Small Towns, Y'all!

By Brian Richards | Social Media | July 17, 2023 |

By Brian Richards | Social Media | July 17, 2023 |


Remember what life was like here in America in the days and months that followed the 9/11 attacks? When almost every American, especially the white ones, became super-patriotic and jingoistic as if they just became members of G.I. Joe? And how they would look at you like you just punched a nun in the face if you so much as breathed any dislike or disapproval of the U.S. of A for any reason whatsoever? (Remember when “freedom fries” were a thing that existed? *sighs* What a time to be alive! Just…you know, not if you were brown-skinned and Muslim.) During that time, country singers got in front of their microphones and expressed just how much they loved their country, how nothing would ever take that love of country away, and how America was the biggest and the baddest in going after anyone who would declare war on us and on our way of life.

There was Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning),” Charlie Daniels’ “This Ain’t No Rag, It’s A Flag,” Hank Williams Jr.’s “America Will Survive,” and of course, Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).” Of course, not every country singer went down the path of yelling “America, F-ck Yeah!,” as The Dixie Chicks suffered a massive backlash from nearly the entire country music industry, and from more conservative country music fans, when lead vocalist Natalie Maines expressed how ashamed she was that then-President George W. Bush was from Texas.

The reason I’m bringing up this oh-so-delightful history is because of country singer Jason Aldean, who has recently been getting some attention on social media for two reasons: Because he suffered a heatstroke on stage during one of his concerts this past Saturday, and informed the public that he’s feeling better, and plans to reschedule. And also because of his newest song called “Try That In A Small Town.”

And the lyrics to this song … they kinda remind me of the country songs we got in that post-9/11 period, and not in a good way.


People on social media had a lot to say about Aldean, and about the lyrical content of his newest song. They pointed out that Aldean himself wasn’t even born in a small town, but was born in Macon, Georgia, and spent most of his youth in Homestead, Florida, with both cities having a population between 80,000 and 150,000 residents. (He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, which currently has a population of almost 693,000.) They said that “Try That In A Small Town” sounds like the kind of song that would appeal to twentysomething yee-haw boys looking to raise hell and lynch the kind of people who would dare talk back to cops and not show them the proper respect. That it sounds like the kind of song that encourages people in small towns to stand their ground, and do whatever they feel is necessary to protect themselves and their families and their homes, even if it means shooting someone to death after accusing them of stealing less than one dollar’s worth of fruit. They also pointed out the infuriating hypocrisy of Aldean making a song like this, despite the fact that Aldean himself was present and performing on stage during the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that resulted in sixty-one deaths and over eight hundred injuries, but still thinks it’s cool or even necessary to tell a bunch of Fredo Corleones that they should be more like Raylan Givens. And they reminded everyone that Jason Aldean has always been on some bullsh-t when it comes to his personal and political views. From having his kids wear T-shirts that don’t speak highly of President Joe Biden (and lashing out at people who criticized him for it), to laughing along with his wife, Brittany, when she posted transphobic comments on her Instagram page.

If country singers want to sing the praises of small towns, and about how life is quieter and simpler compared to living in the city, that’s obviously their right. But when your praise of small towns involves fearmongering, and encouraging white people to lash out and go after anyone who looks or sounds differently than they do with guns, and with bills being signed into law, you deserve whatever smoke you get, and you deserve to have everyone point out that that you have the maturity and the intelligence of expired milk, and should shut the everloving f-ck up. If you want to be entertained by something that highlights how lovely it can be to live in a small town, where people don’t act like trigger-happy dumbasses? Go watch Everwood on Amazon Prime Video, which starred the late, great Treat Williams, who was a hell of a lot more well-liked by his peers than Jason Aldean will ever be. (Just ask Maren Morris, and Sturgill Simpson.)

One last thing: The mass shootings that keep happening over and over and over again in this country, and keep making it necessary for The Onion to use their classic headline of “’No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens?’”

They mostly happen in small towns.

So Jason, maybe you should change your tune, and ask your fans who reside in small towns (particularly the ones who you’re encouraging to behave with little to no Act-Right) to be a little more responsible and use their guns less. A lot less.