With yesterday’s release of I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell, chart-topping singer/songwriter Chase Rice is poised for a career-defining moment with the album already earning praise as his best work to date. Born out of the recent time away from the roar of sold-out crowds, the project is the result of Rice’s realisation that despite career milestones including RIAA Diamond certification as a songwriter, numerous multi-Platinum hits and three No. 1s at Country radio to his name, he still had more to offer creatively – both to fans and to himself.
“People always say that Nashville is a 10-year town; that it usually takes 10 years of grinding to finally reach that moment of breakthrough success,” reflects Rice, “For me, though, I was part of a group of songwriters that found lightning in a bottle immediately when I moved to town. It was a wild ride that I hung onto and tried to replicate as much as I could. What I’ve realized, though, is that I never identified who I am as my own artist. Now, a decade later, I know that my 10 years in this town were all about discovering my true self and getting to this point of releasing an album that I can honestly say reflects the man I want to be from start to finish.”
Offering 13 tracks, all of which feature Rice as a songwriter (including three solo writes), I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell showcases a raw, passionate side of the man praised by Sports Illustrated for “his wild ride to redemption” and honors his late father, Daniel Rice, with its cover art.
“My dad was one of those good guys you read about – tough, hardworking, always helping other people out,” Rice notes of the man gracing the album cover. “I try to live my life in a way that would make him proud. I haven’t always measured up to that, but I get closer to that man I want to be and the man he’d be proud of every single day.
“Making this album was a big step towards that musically, too,” he continues. “Not only is it the most vulnerable I’ve ever been, it’s also something he’d enjoy listening to and is full of stories I wish I could tell him. I’ve always wanted to honor him by using this photo as an album cover, and I know this project is the one that deserves that.”
Building on solo songwriting sessions with just his acoustic guitar, plus trips with friends where songs were born from real life as opposed to Music Row writing appointments, Rice took the same approach into the recording process with producer Oscar Charles. Forgoing a traditional studio, Rice and Charles turned his rural home into their 24/7 workspace, bringing in a live band with no click track to capture a rugged, authentic sound over the course of an immersive two-week session.
Opening with the timeless message of true love’s power on ‘Walk That Easy,’ the album immediately makes clear that this is a different sonic product than any previous offerings from Rice, as does lead single ‘Way Down Yonder‘ with a funky, carnival-sounding guitar line repeating throughout the track and lyrics based on true moonshining history building to the infectious chorus.
‘Life Part of Living‘, meanwhile, summarises the album’s overall theme of love, regret and redemption in its opening verse (“I’ve had a lot of good years I missed as they rolled on by / Now here I am just a kid goin’ on 35 / I’ve played my songs and played my part, played it wrong and played some hearts / Lived the highs, lows, in betweens of this thing called life”). Rice offers a similarly contemplative performance on introspective anthem ‘I Walk Alone‘, with the lyrical imagery serving as an autobiographical metaphor for his own musical journey, building to a climax during the goosebump-inducing final third as he lets loose vocally.
Clocking in at nearly eight minutes in length, standout track ‘Oklahoma‘ (featuring the Sooner State’s own Read Southall Band), also builds to an impressive climax; opening as a haunting Wild West ballad and concluding with a three minute, surging instrumental outro to fully illustrate the impressive dynamic of the live band recording in Rice’s own living room.
Celebrated by Billboard as “one of his most earnest vocal deliveries to date,” ‘Key West & Colorado‘ served as an early preview of the album along with ‘Bench Seat‘, written alone by Rice as an emotional ode to the power of a dog’s love and released recently along with a heart-wrenching music video spotlighting mental health. Another solo write and early preview, ‘If I Were Rock & Roll‘ was the first song written for the project. Initially released as a single in late 2021 and now appearing as a reimagined version on the album, it sees Rice reflecting on the people and memories that have shaped him – as well as the areas in which he’s fallen short.
Despite the emotional heft, the album also features points of high-energy punctuation while maintaining a mature musicality, including with a a fresh take on a tried-and-true Country music theme. Feel-good singalong ‘Goodnight Nancy‘ (featuring Boy Named Banjo) celebrates the local “roadhouse queen,” while ‘Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer‘ introduces a new cowriter to Nashville via PGA Champion Justin Thomas, whose simple statement during a day together on the golf course – “Boys, it’s a bad day to be a cold beer” – now finds permanence on Rice’s album.
The humorous honky-tonk apology of ‘Sorry Momma‘ offers another light moment with a singalong chorus and jangly piano as Rice delivers a heartfelt message to the woman who did everything she could to keep a brood of three rowdy boys in line, concluding, “Lord knows I’m to blame, so I’m sorry Momma for the hell you raised.”
The tongue-in-cheek lyricism is perhaps most evident on one half of the album’s title, ‘All Dogs Go To Hell,’ which illustrates how painful it can be to watch love leave by weaving a web of lies to reveal a man in denial as the chorus peaks (“I don’t miss you baby, and all dogs go to hell”), and on ‘I Hate Cowboys‘, the other half of the project’s title, bringing the album to an emphatic close by flipping the truth on its head with an ode to how enviable cowboys really are.
“I’m at the place in my life now where I just want people to know who I really am as opposed to who they think I am,” Rice summarised the 13-song offering to PopCulture. “I think this record’s a good start.”
Soon, fans will get to hear the new music live on Rice’s Way Down Yonder Tour, set to visit iconic venues such as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Boston’s House of Blues and Athens’ Georgia Theatre beginning March 3.
I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell Track List:
Produced by Oscar Charles, Songwriters in Parentheses
- Walk That Easy
(Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles)
- All Dogs Go To Hell
(Chase Rice, Joshua Miller, John Byron)
- Way Down Yonder
(Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass, Corey Crowder)
- Key West & Colorado
(Chase Rice, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Hunter Phelps)
- Bench Seat
- Life Part Of Livin’
- Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer
(Chase Rice, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Justin Thomas)
- Oklahoma feat. Read Southall Band
(Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles, Read Southall)
- I Walk Alone
(Chase Rice, Jaxson Free, Josh Hoge)
- Sorry Momma
(Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson)
- If I Were Rock & Roll (Album Version)
- Goodnight Nancy feat. Boy Named Banjo
(Chase Rice, Oscar Charles, Barton Davies, William Reames, Jonathan Sherwood)
- I Hate Cowboys
(Chase Rice, Michael Hardy, Ross Copperman, Brad Tursi)
ABOUT CHASE RICE:
With nearly 2.4 million albums sold and over 2.4 billion total streams, plus a legion of passionate fans at his high-energy concerts across the globe, Chase Rice has established himself as a powerful force in Nashville and beyond. With the new album I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell crafted in his rural Tennessee home-turned-studio and available everywhere now, his sound continues to evolve to reflect the realities of his life, as evidenced by recent releases “Bench Seat,” “Way Down Yonder,” “I Hate Cowboys” and “Key West & Colorado.” The new music serves as a follow up to his three-part project, The Album, featuring his latest Platinum-certified No. 1 hit, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen. (feat. Florida Georgia Line)” and Platinum-certified Top 10 hit “Lonely If You Are.” This is the same gravelly-voiced Chase Rice fans first fell in love with years ago – but better, freer; unbeholden and uninhibited. The new music builds upon the success of his sophomore album, Lambs & Lions, which featured the triple-Platinum, two-week chart topper “Eyes On You” – Rice’s first No. 1 as an artist and the most-streamed song of his career. Lambs & Lions followed Ignite the Night, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and No. 3 on the all-genre chart, producing a pair of Top 5 hits; “Gonna Wanna Tonight” and Platinum-certified “Ready Set Roll.” In addition to guesting on sold out arena tours with Kane Brown and Jason Aldean plus stadium shows with Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks, Rice is set to get back on the road this spring in support of the new music. Visit ChaseRice.com for more information.