When Chase Rice‘s longtime friend came to him with an idea for a song about “a guy and his dog driving around together,” the Diamond-certified songwriter laughed. “That cliché was exactly the type of thing I was trying to avoid on this album,” Rice remembers. And yet, once he sat down with his acoustic guitar to craft what would become one of three solo writes on the forthcoming project, the result was anything but cliché. With ‘Bench Seat‘, available everywhere now, Rice pays tribute to that friend – and the dog that saved his life.
“My buddy was in a really dark place – to the point where he was ready to end his own life. It took a lot for him to take me back to that moment, but when he told me what stopped him it stopped me in my tracks: his dog came and laid his head on his lap, and that connection saved him,” Rice explains. “I wrote this song by myself with the point of view from the dog’s perspective – which might not be obvious right away – and what that moment might have meant for the two of them if not for that intervention.”
Building upon the emotional backstory of the song, the official music video directed by Kaiser Cunningham offers a seven-plus-minute short film spotlighting the mental health struggle that affects countless people. The video’s intention is to encourage viewers to feel comfortable talking about the topic and seeking the assistance they need, with its conclusion pointing to available resources via wannatalkaboutit.com.
“For the first time in my career, I could envision the whole video as I was writing the song,” notes Rice. “I wanted to shine a light on the topic of mental health because this is something that makes way too many people feel alone and especially when addiction becomes part of the picture, one bad moment can have horrible consequences. I personally know how hard it can be to ask for help when you need it, but I hope this helps start a few more conversations and lets people know they really aren’t alone.
“When my friend was in that moment, it was impossible to see anything but the heaviness. He was able to get the help he needed, though, and now he’s living a beautiful life and starting a family. That’s what this video is really about – showing you the potential for a happy end to the story if you are able to find a way to get help through the dark times.”
The powerful song is one of 13 tracks on Rice’s forthcoming album, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell, set for release Feb. 10 and showcasing a more raw, vulnerable side of the man praised by Sports Illustrated for “his wild ride to redemption” than on any of his previous studio projects. Recorded during an immersive two-week period at Rice’s farm outside Nashville with producer Oscar Charles and a live band using a makeshift recording setup, the album ranges from admiration of a Western way of life in recent releases ‘I Hate Cowboys‘ and ‘Way Down Yonder‘ to emotional reckoning in ‘Key West & Colorado‘ and today’s ‘Bench Seat’.
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.
For all the latest news on his forthcoming music as well as tickets to all upcoming tour dates, visit ChaseRice.com and follow Rice on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok @ChaseRiceMusic and on Instagram @ChaseRice.
I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell Track List:
1. Walk That Easy (Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles)
2. All Dogs Go To Hell (Chase Rice, Joshua Miller, John Byron)
3. Way Down Yonder (Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass, Corey Crowder)
4. Key West & Colorado (Chase Rice, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Hunter Phelps)
5. Bench Seat (Chase Rice)
6. Life Part Of Livin’ (Chase Rice)
7. Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer (Chase Rice, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Justin Thomas)
8. Oklahoma feat. Read Southall Band (Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles, Read Southall)
9. I Walk Alone (Chase Rice, Jaxson Free, Josh Hoge)
10. Sorry Momma (Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson)
11. If I Were Rock & Roll (Album Version) (Chase Rice)
12. Goodnight Nancy feat. Boy Named Banjo (Chase Rice, Oscar Charles, Barton Davies, William Reames, Jonathan Sherwood)
13. I Hate Cowboys (Chase Rice, Michael Hardy, Ross Copperman, Brad Tursi)