In 2013, Mississippi native Charlie Worsham released Rubberband, his debut album for Warner Music Nashville. He followed with 2017’s The Beginning of Things. A triple threat singer, songwriter and artist with a penchant for smart storytelling and a sound that blends elements of traditional country and bluegrass, Worsham that has drawn comparisons to Vince Gill (Worsham has also toured and recorded with Gill). In addition to his own artist career, Worsham’s wry observations and nuanced guitar work have landed him songwriting credits and/or instrumental work on albums recorded by Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore, Will Hoge and more.
Now, Worsham returns with “Fist Through This Town,” a clear-eyed ode to ambition-fueled years of long days and nights, a tribute to all the dreamers and hustlers who endure broken promises for the shot at chasing down a dream. Worsham wrote the song alongside Travis Meadows and Jeremy Spillman.
Worsham told CMT about the making of the video for “Fist Through This Town,” which was directed by Sam Siske, who also helmed some of Worsham’s previous videos including “Cut Your Groove.”
What do you remember most about the day/night you shot this video?
There are so many things I remember about shooting the video for ‘Fist Through This Town.’ For starters, the first location where we filmed is a little dive bar called Twin Kegs II, and they specialize in karaoke. I had only been there once several years ago on one of my first dates with my wife Kristen, and I got up to sang karaoke – I think I sang “Rhinestone Cowboy.” As we were filming there that morning with some musician buddies, we again sang a version of ‘Rhinestone Cowboy.’ I also remember how good it felt to be in front of a crowd again. Everybody was masked up unless they were on camera, but it was a really cool feeling to be in a room playing live music. And it made think of my early days of gigs to sparse crowds like the one in the video. From reminiscing about my old attic apartment to that date with Kristen, there were a lot of great trips down memory lane on the day of the shoot.
How does the video bring your song to life?
This was the second time I worked with Sam Siske on a music video. We started working together on the music video for “Cut Your Groove” and have since shot two more, so we’ve got four under our belts. I love working with Sam because, before we bring the first camera out, we have extensive conversations about our creative vision. For this video, I wanted to share what my struggle looked like. I wrote this song about a time during which I lived in this less-than-glamorous space. There were a lot of late nights and there were a lot of gigs where every song ended to a smattering of applause. I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was on my way but in a rough patch of that chapter.
My journey toward my dream is not unique. I think that if you go to any major city around the world you can find people who moved from far away who are busing tables or tending bar, but they want to be a comedy writer or an actor or a Broadway performer or anything else. Everybody in life has goals and in order to achieve those goals, we have to struggle. We brought the song to life not just by highlighting what my journey has looked like, but by highlighting what we imagined to be other people’s stories. And we wanted to show how, through live music, we can come together and see what we have in common. That’s especially important to remember as we’ve been without live music during COVID. I think when we know we’re not struggling alone, it’s easier to get through the struggle. That was our intention, and I believe that’s how we brought the song to life. And, of course, including the realization of the dream – gold jacket and all.
What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?
I hope this music video reminds fans that they’re not alone. Anyone who has a dream they’re chasing is going to have to deal with some struggle. That’s part of the journey. Honestly, when you finally get ahold of that dream, the struggle is what makes it so sweet… but it’s not fun when you’re in the thick of it, and it can feel like the whole world is up against you. So, my hope for this song and video is that people hear it, see it and realize that they’re not alone. They’re going to get through it. If they detect any frustration in the music, I hope they can channel that into what I call “rocket fuel” for the dream.
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
It felt very emotional to see the finished video for “Fist Through This Town.” We captured it in a two-week span during which I shot three music videos. It was a really busy time, just a mere two or three weeks away from the birth of our first child, so there was a lot happening, and I barely had time to catch my breath. One night I came in from a shoot and saw in my email, probably about 11:00 PM, that they had done the first cut of the video. I pulled it up on my phone and I watched it in bed with my wife. It meant so much to be there next to her for that moment, because she’s been a huge part of my story and a huge part of living this dream. The video brought me back to so many places in my journey, so it was emotional. I cried for about ten minutes – thanks a lot, Sam Siske! – but also I was really proud. Those tears didn’t represent sadness, they represented a sense of pride in how far I’d come and how strongly I felt that this song and video would touch a lot of people. I know there are a lot of folks out there like me who are striving to will their dreams into existence. A dream can be a big thing or a small thing, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make the struggle any less significant and it doesn’t make the victory of realizing it any less significant.