After almost ending his life, country singer-songwriter Chase Bryant hits reset with his debut album, Upbringing, out July 16.
In 2018, Chase Bryant hit bottom, put a loaded .357 revolver to his head, and pulled the trigger.
By most standards, he was succeeding in the music business: By his early 20s, he’d had two Top 10 singles and had toured with Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, and Tim McGraw.
He was living the musician’s life in Nashville and on the road, but instead of feeling happy and content, he was feeling desperate and anxious.
Somewhere along the way, the Texas-born truth teller had stopped recognizing himself in the mirror. The songs he was singing weren’t feeding his soul, and the Music City machine was eating him from the inside.
“I was a very confused individual,” Bryant says in press materials. “I was cocky. I was arrogant. I was sick. And that led me down a pretty dark hole.”
That dark hole would eventually find him in a gas station parking lot, where the only thing that ultimately prevented Bryant from taking his life was the fact that one of the chambers of the loaded gun he fired somehow, miraculously, turned out to be empty.
Stunned he was still alive, Bryant had an epiphany. “For the first time, I felt like somebody had heard me crying out for help and stepped in,” he says. “It made me realize that my life wasn’t supposed to end that day, that I still had a purpose to live for.”
He got help for his mental health, moved back to Texas, and bought an old ranch house that had been in his family since the 1960s. On solid Texas turf surrounded by the familiar rugged beauty of his youth, he got back into his musical upbringing, the Southern rock and classic country records that were his mainstays in high school. He started spending time again with Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Pat Green, and other stuff that had inspired him to follow his dream of music in the first place.
“Listening to that stuff brought me right back to being a kid with big dreams and endless possibilities,” Bryant says. “Suddenly music was fun again. It was freedom and escape and connection. That’s when I started picking up the guitar and writing.”
“Upbringing” is Bryant hitting reset. Recorded at Austin’s Aryln Studios, the track sees the singer-songwriter reconnecting with his creative self. Produced by Jon Randall, with J.J. Johnson (Gary Clark, Jr., Tedeschi Trucks Band) on drums and Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams) on electric guitar and piano, the song is more than melody and lyrics.
“This is my shot at redemption,” Bryant says. “This is the second chance I never thought I’d have.”
C&I is pleased to premiere the acoustic video of “Upbringing” right here.
“Filming the acoustic version of ‘Upbringing’ at the Rifle Club in my hometown felt special because it was one of the first places I was ever allowed to play,” Bryant says “And we shot it just days after we recorded the record. It made it all feel right.”
Born and raised in rural Orange Grove, Bryant grew up dreaming of a life in music, inspired in part by his grandfather, who performed with Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings, and his uncles, who co-founded the band Ricochet.
Bryant’s new debut record, which comes out July 16, marks a return to his roots, and the title track summarizes the theme of his new mantra: I ain't changing who I am / Cause I've always been this way / Like me, hate me, love me, leave me / It's in my DNA / It's in the water down here / Got my roots down in this ground / It all comes down to my upbringing …
“In a way, I feel like I’ve been working on this record my whole life,” Bryant says. “I had to go back to Texas to make it, but it was inside me all along.”
Upbringing Track List
1. Upbringing (Chase Bryant / Stephen Wilson)
2. Think About That (Chase Bryant / Lance Miller / Brad Warren / Brett Warren)
3. Little Bitty Town (Chase Bryant / Lance Miller / Tim Owens)
4. Even Now ft. Jessi Alexander (Chase Bryant / Joe Haydel / Tim Owens)
5. Somewhere in a Bar (Chase Bryant / Stephen Wilson)
6. Cold Beer (Chase Bryant / Aaron Raitiere)
7. Selfish (Chase Bryant / Cary Barlowe / Will Weatherly)
8. Paradise (Chase Bryant / Cary Barlowe / Will Weatherly)
9. Red Light (Chase Bryant / Ryan Beaver)
10. Drinking in My Car (Jon Randall)
11. In the First Place (Stephen Wilson / Ryan Beaver)
12. High, Drunk, and Heartbroke (Chase Bryant / Stephen Wilson / Dave Pittenger)