Chase Rice Honors His Late Father With New Album

by Suzanne Halliburton
Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images

Chase Rice says he’s refocused his work over the past decade. He’s dropped the country music cliches and has written and recorded songs that would make his father proud.

On Thursday, the country star announced, via MusicRow, he’s releasing a new album in February. It’s the album his dad would love. You can find pre-sale or pre-save details here for “I Hate Cowboys and All Dogs Go to Hell.” And for the record, the album title is ironic, kind of intentionally trollish, and not what Rice believes about dogs or cowboys.

Rice made the album announcement to coincide with what would have been his parent’s 43rd wedding anniversary. And because Rice knows it would meet his late dad’s approval, he chose his favorite photo of Dan Rice as the album cover. Dan died of a heart attack when he was only 57. Chase was 22 when his dad died. He was graduating from North Carolina and headed for a job with NASCAR. There was only a glimmer of a dream of becoming a singer/songwriter.

But the photo he picked of his dad was from a happy time, back when Dan was popping the top on a couple of cans of Coors Banquet while on vacation in Wyoming.

Chase Rice said this photo is his favorite. Dan Rice, his father, was on vacation in Wyoming. The picture also serves as cover art for Rice’s next album. (Provided by Chase Rice)

Chase Rice Said He’d Never Use His Dad’s Photo Unless Album Was Perfect

Chase Rice talked to Outsider about his new album during an interview last month. Although Dan died 15 years ago, he’s still ever present in his son’s mind.

“This music is just so much better than anything I’ve ever put out there,” Rice told Outsider. “I mean, I know I would never put that album cover out there unless it was something that would make my dad proud. He’d be real proud of this.”

But he concedes he’s not sure his dad would have liked some of his other previous songs, believing they weren’t up to his talents. It’s like Rice has had a running, inner dialogue with his dad for the past decade. He believes his father would’ve said “what the fxxk are you doing?”

“But I think now he’d think of this record. Okay, that’s my son.”

So what’s on the album that makes it so special? “It took me 10 years to get to this spot, this place in life, this place in my songwriting,” he said. “And it just took me 10 years to figure out what I want to do and what I want to say, as a musician.

He continued: “And I had my phase of the cliche stuff. I had a phase of chasing what was popular. Luckily, that phase is in the past.”

He’s already released two tracks from the album as singles — “Way Down Yonder” and “Key West to Colorado.” He’d also planned to add “For a Day,” a song about his dad. “You’re gonna lose it,” he said last month. “Just me and a guitar, but it’s just about me and him.” But it’s not listed among the 13 tracks published Thursday.

While there isn’t a specific song about his dad, the whole Chase Rice album is because of him.