In his previous release, "Fist Through This Town," Charlie Worsham funneled into song the stresses, frustrations and setbacks that come with chasing dreams. With his latest, "Believe in Love," he honors the people and things that have helped shape this multi-talented artist's beliefs and artistry.
Both songs represent Worsham's first new music since his 2017 project Beginning of Things. Over the years, this triple-threat singer-songwriter-musician has collaborated with and/or contributed to projects from Old Crow Medicine Show, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Brandy Clark, Luke Combs, Vince Gill, Kacey Musgraves, Marty Stuart and more.
Worsham penned "Believe in Love" alongside Jimi Bell.
"It was written in the same little living room where I wrote 'Fist Through This Town.' Those songs weren't written too far apart honestly, but it points to where I am today and where things are headed," Worsham tells CMT. "I had started dating this girl Kristen [whom Worsham wed in 2018] and Jimi threw that idea out and we started talking about all the things that make us believe in love and believe in hard work, like my dad's dad, seeing him work on cars and make a living the blue collar way. Believing in having my own faith, because my mom would take me to Emmanuel Baptist Church in Grenada, Mississippi...all these memories."
One particular lyric captures the joy in Worsham's personal life, as he and wife Kristen recently welcomed their first child, son Gabriel Thomas.
"There's a line in the song that goes, 'I believe that raising babies is the most important thing we'll do/when I'm 83 and gray, I'll still be crazy over you,'" he says. "That's right where I'm at."
The accompanying video for "Believe in Love" is filled with visuals of personal items that hold special meaning for Worsham, such as his father's old drum kit.
"My first memory of music is that drumkit, sitting on his lap playing drums," Worsham says. "Chet Atkins' guitar strap makes a little cameo as well," he adds. "It's a fun video that I'm really proud of."
Worsham told CMT about the making of the video, for which he teamed again with director Sam Siske, who helmed several Worsham video clips, including "Fist Through This Town."
What do you remember most about the day/night you shot this video?
So many things about the shoot stand out to me – I remember my heart shirt kept getting wrinkled from the humidity of the rain outside, and then there were all the jackets I would put on and take off during each take. They’d have to steam the shirt, and I’d end up waiting around in a coat with no shirt underneath. I remember when the fog machines set off the fire alarms, and it took about 20 minutes before someone figured out how to override the system. More than once, we were nearly to the end of a great take and a light didn’t come in or move out in time… or I’d get the envelope caught in the mailbox!
My favorite takeaway from that day is that we had originally planned on using just one guitar throughout the video, but we had a really tight turnaround time between its appearance in the studio scene and the spotlight stage scene. In that 15 seconds or so, someone had to slip a strap around the instrument and walk it the long way around to the stage so as to stay out of the camera sight line. With only an hour or two left in the shoot, we decided we had to get a second guitar. So, my sweet, nine-months-pregnant wife drove over in the rain to deliver a backup guitar, which happened to be the very instrument she surprised me with as a gift on our wedding day. Now that’s love.
How does the video bring your song to life?
Oh goodness, this video is loaded with personal artifacts – a broken Mississippi mud pottery mug that I glued back together with gold paint in a messy attempt at making my own kintsugi that sits on the desk in the letter-writing scene… next to a photo of my Papaw, who really did run a Texaco… next to a photo of my dog, Peggy Sue. In the studio scene, there are drums from my dad’s old drum kit, where, sitting on his lap, I made my first memory of music as a baby, banging on the tom-toms with a drum stick he helped to hold in my hand. The sparkly guitar strap, which once belonged to Chet Atkins, speaks to my love for a dear friend who gifted it to me. So many of the set pieces are pieces of my real life story. Even if someone watching the video doesn’t know the back story, I believe they will be able to feel my connection to those things.
Sam Siske did a brilliant job building out the set and planning how to shoot it in one take, all based on a crazy idea I had for walking through different scenes and landmarks in my life that guided me when it comes to love. When I arrived on set, the scene I was most looking forward to witnessing in person was the one we call the magic memory tunnel. I’d sent Sam a whole bunch of family photos and home movie clips from both my childhood and from Kristen’s childhood. I knew he was going to use the footage to project a collage of memories onto draped sheets, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact of seeing the generations of love stories that led to mine play out in front of me. To top it off, there’s a snapshot of my wife, Kristen, as a little girl, smiling in a Mr. Rogers shirt. And if that don’t get ya, surely the clip of me driving a go-kart will!
What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?
I hope that my fans take this video as encouragement to go out and find that great love in their lives. Write that poem, send that song (or better yet, learn to play it on guitar), mail that note. You’ll never regret investing your heart in love. It is by far the greatest thing we can do as humans. And we are all here because of it. Our love stories begin long before we arrive on the scene. “Believe In Love” to me is the journey from where I’ve been – the landmarks of love I was raised on – to where I am and where I’m going as a husband and as a father.
How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?
The crazy thing about this video in particular is that I saw the video for the first time immediately after we shot the take and Sam yelled cut. Usually, you go home from the set, wait a couple weeks, and you see the first edit with fresh eyes and ears. Since the “Believe In Love" video was done in one shot, I gathered with the crew around the monitor right there on set and watched the footage end-to-end. Of course, there wasn’t really sound or coloring, but it was magical just the same. It’s an exhilarating feeling, knowing so many moving parts had to line up exactly right for the video to work. I went home that night, sometime after midnight, exhausted but floating on air.