HomeEntertainmentMusicThomas Rhett Made Real Life Visit to Death Row for New Song

Thomas Rhett Made Real Life Visit to Death Row for New Song

by Suzanne Halliburton
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

What to Know About the New Thomas Rhett “Death Row” Music Video

  • Thomas Rhett collaborated with Tyler Hubbard and Russell Dickerson for a song called “Death Row.” All three visited a Tennessee prison together in 2019. The three released the lyric music video this week.
  • Rhett wrote the song with Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell.
  • It’s a single from his new album “Where We Started.” Release date for the album is April 1.
  • Rhett will perform at the American Country Music Awards set for Monday.

Writing helped Thomas Rhett deal with the “heaviness” of meeting a group of prisoners who were waiting to die.

The visit to death row at a Tennessee prison was back in 2019, back before the pandemic gave the world an even clearer definition of freedom.

So Thomas Rhett did the best form of therapy he knew was best for his own soul. He co-wrote a song about the experience. Fellow country stars Tyler Hubbard and Russell Dickerson joined Rhett on the prison visit. And they also were part of the song and lyric music video released this week.

“Tyler, Russell and I went and played some songs for a men’s prison here in Tennessee,” Rhett told reporters. “We left with a lot of complex feelings, so I started writing as a way to process the heaviness. Our goal was for people to understand our experience by way of music – it’s basically a page directly from our journal that day.” 

Rhett’s video starts with a haunting melody on acoustic guitar. He sings about meeting the first prisoner, saying he found himself “trembling.”

“I thought he’d be a monster,” Thomas Rhett sings in the video. “Turns out he’s a whole lot like I am.”

Then this is the chorus: “How Jesus is the ticket and narrow is the road, about how all we need is forgiveness / ‘Fore we see them streets of gold / Yeah, I learned a lot ’bout livin’ from them boys down on death row.

Thomas Rhett Sang How Death Row Inmates Reminded Him of ‘Boys Back Home’

The song literally provides the highlights of the visit and who Thomas Rhett and friends met while they were there. Rhett said the inmates reminded him of the guys back home. They bonded over hunting and fishing.

None of the singers excused the crimes committed by the inmates. Rather, they recognized their humanity and how so many of the prisoners had asked forgiveness from God. After all, the best country music songs are about love and redemption. This one asks that you not judge.

“Death Row” is part of Rhett’s upcoming album, “Where We Started.” The release date is April 1.

Rhett already had released one single from the album. It’s called “Slow Down Summer.” There’s an interesting anecdote with this song, too. Rhett said he was in Montana on an October writing trip, although he’d squeezed in some time for fly fishing. Someone said how he’d wish summer would slow down. That made for a perfect title. The song was about a summer romance.

Thomas Rhett will perform his album’s lead single during Monday’s Academy of Country Music Awards. You can flip to Amazon Prime Video to watch the awards ceremony and all the performances. Rhett is nominated for two awards.