CMT Hot 20 Decade: “Dirt Road Anthem,” Jason Aldean

"It became this anthem for country music"

Editor’s Note: CMT Hot 20 Countdown takes a look back on 10 years of incredible music with Decade, a weekly segment that features a modern country classic that made its greatest impact between 2010 and 2019. This week, Jason Aldean talks about his 2011 single, “Dirt Road Anthem.” Here’s Aldean, in his own words:

The first time I heard “Dirt Road Anthem,” I had Colt Ford out on tour with me and Colt was playing it in his show. I thought it was cool and it was different — and it was kind of an underground hit for him. Brantley had actually recorded it but Colt was playing it in his show every night and it was going over huge when we would play places especially down in the South, in Georgia. …

I never really thought much about recording the song and it wasn’t until my producer, Michael Knox, brought the idea up to me of, “Hey, man, we should look at this thing. It’s kinda cool,” and my first thought was, “I need to call Colt and see if this is cool with him if I cut this song.” To me, that was their song. I didn’t want to look like I was trying to go and jack a song from ‘em or something.

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