Sheryl Crow has taken a stand against Jason Aldean’s controversial song and music video for “Try That In a Small Town.” In a bold social media post, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted artist criticizes Aldean for promoting violence and suggests that he should know better.
The song has ignited a firestorm on social media due to its lyrical content and the visuals presented in the official music video. Many commentators have accused the song of glorifying violent behavior, and some have pointed out that Aldean himself was present on stage during the tragic Route 91 mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017.
Sheryl Crow’s response came as a reply to a post from Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, who shared her concerns about the song’s message. Crow, who hails from a small town, expressed that even in such communities, people are tired of violence and that promoting it is not reflective of small-town or American values. She reminds Aldean that he should be especially sensitive to this issue as a survivor of a mass shooting.
Following the uproar surrounding “Try That In a Small Town,” CMT decided to pull the music video from rotation on their network. Aldean responded to the criticism through a lengthy explanation on his Instagram Stories, defending the song and video’s intent. He clarified that the song does not reference race or support violence, and the news footage used in the video is real.
The controversial music video features Aldean performing in front of a courthouse with an American flag hanging from the entrance. It includes scenes of a flag burning, protesters engaging in violent acts, and robbing a convenience store.
In Aldean’s explanation, he states that “Try That In a Small Town” refers to the sense of community he experienced while growing up, where people cared for one another regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs. He emphasizes that no one, including himself, wants to see senseless tragedies or families torn apart.
Despite the backlash and controversy, the song is still climbing on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. It debuted eight weeks ago and rose to the 25th position on the chart dated July 22. “Try That In a Small Town” is also expected to be featured on Aldean’s upcoming album.
The disagreement over the song continues, with Sheryl Crow and others voicing their concerns about its message, while Aldean maintains that it has been misunderstood and misinterpreted. The debate underscores the importance of responsible storytelling in music and the impact that lyrics and visuals can have on listeners and viewers.