[Fox News] Randy Travis supports Jason Aldean through ‘Try That in a Small Town’ backlash

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Jason Aldean is still facing backlash for his “Try That in a Small Town” music video, but now he has a country music legend firmly in his corner.

Randy Travis and his wife, Mary, spoke to Fox News Digital ahead of a “Heroes and Friends” tribute concert in his honor scheduled for Oct. 24. During the conversation, they touched on the song that’s currently at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and expressed that despite some people having issues with Aldean’s message, they fully agree with it.

Mary, who speaks for Randy after the singer suffered a major stroke in 2013 and now has limited speech, said, “You know, when we heard the song, when we saw the video, our first inclination was, we live in a small town. We feel the same way. And we want the world to feel that way because we really do want to protect our country.”

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Randy nodded in agreement as she added, “There’s some things that have gotten sideways … and it’s not racial, and it’s not any of those things. It’s just where we want to be as a country and the things that established our country. Why is it so hard to believe that we’re going to protect our own? I mean, that’s what we do with our armed forces. That’s what we do with our family. If somebody storms in your front door and threatens your wife or your children, what do you do?”

She argued, with Randy nodding and saying, “Yeah,” in support, that the footage in Aldean’s video came from media outlets covering actual current events, “So, it didn’t strike us as anything that he was highlighting any more than what news media did.”

She also noted the issue that people have been taking with the courthouse featured in the video – it was the site of a lynching in 1927, but Aldean’s wasn’t the only project to feature that specific location. Several movies and music videos have been filmed there, including the 2022 Lifetime Original movie “Steppin’ into the Holiday” with Jana Kramer and Mario Lopez, the 2022 Paramount holiday film “A Nashville Country Christmas” with Tanya Tucker, and a Runaway June video for their 2019 track “We Were Rich.”

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“As far as the particular courthouse or whatever,” Mary said, “any courthouse in the United States of America that’s been around a while … something happened there. And so just to go and pick a courthouse and then identify, ‘Well, that happened there,’ you could go to any courthouse across the country and find something you didn’t like going on there.”

“We think he is on target. Anything that happens in your small town that should not be happening there is the same thing that should not be happening in the big towns.”

She continued, “There shouldn’t be that much gray area. … To find fault in it sometimes is where you find the guilty, and I hate to say that, but that’s the truth. I mean, we need to get back to what our country was all about.”

In the video for “Try That in a Small Town,” Aldean’s lyrics are sung while news coverage from the 2020 riots illustrate his message. “Cuss out a cop spit in his face / stomp on the flag and light it up,” Aldean sings, along with footage of the described instances.

Another verse in the song references a gun given to the singer by his grandfather followed by the lyrics, “They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that s— might fly in the city, good luck.”

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The chorus of the hit song is “Try that in a small town / See how far ya make it down the road / Around here, we take care of our own / You cross that line, it won’t take long / For you to find out, I recommend you don’t / Try that in a small town.”

At a concert over the weekend, Aldean maintained that both his song and the accompanying video aren’t racist but instead a plea for things to change.

“This is not about race,” he told his fans. “It’s about people getting their s— together, acting right, acting like you got some common sense.”

“We are a country, the greatest one in the world. And I know you guys are like me, you want to be able to send your kids to school and not have to worry about something happening while they’re at school, or letting them go to a movie on the weekends, just like we all did growing up. And I have to worry about are they going to come home or not?”

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“I don’t give a s— what color you are. If you’re acting out, burning down buildings, costing taxpayers all this money, just so you can show that you’re p—– off, to me, I just don’t get that,” Aldean added.

“We can’t change history,” Mary told Fox News Digital, still with Randy’s approval. “We need to move forward. You look through your windshield, not your rearview mirror. And life would be a lot better if we would just be very kind, you know, live simply, love generously, forgive quickly and leave the rest to God.”

Fox News Digital’s Caroline Thayer contributed to this report.

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