Kentucky native JD Shelburne walks the sentimental line between memory lane and progress in his new video for his song "The Road I Grew Up On."
Shelburne wrote the song with Mark Nesler and Tony Martin, and it explores the idea of finding his way home in his hometown even though the area has grown and evolved into a place he hardly recognizes. The singer details how there's a row of houses where his childhood home used to sit, notes how a red light has replaced the stop sign and how the gravel on the road he grew up on has been covered with blacktop.
He made the video, which was produced and directed by Logen Christopher at Stormlight Pictures, even more personal by incorporating old family pictures into the footage. He called his mom at home in Kentucky and asked her to dig out photos from his childhood, of his grandparents and of the house where he grew up.
"She sent back a stack of amazing photos that brought back so many old memories," he said. "In the video, we portray the vision of looking back on those childhood photos in the studio. The producer was able to project those on the wall as I glance at those while performing. It was very emotional seeing the photos in a large format and kind of brings them to life. It makes the video that more special."
Shelburne credits the decades-old photos from family albums for setting the tone for the video.
"It was really a special moment that brings out the nostalgia when looking at those for the first time in that setting," he said. "We also filmed on location in places that reminded me of home. Reminiscing with the photos and walking down the street really made you feel like I was going home, and that is what we wanted the viewer to feel. It's one of my favorite videos to date that we have had on CMT!"
The singer was shopping with his wife and son in a Nashville, Tennessee, mall when the first edit of the music video arrived in his email inbox. He was so excited to see it that he sat down on a bench in Dillard's and pressed play.
"I couldn't wait to share this with my parents after I saw the first edit," he said. "I immediately called them and sent it. They called me a few minutes later, speechless. That's when I knew I had a great piece of work. My parents are my best critics. They give it to me honest. I think I finally impressed them."
He hopes he impresses his fans, too. He wants them to feel the realness of the video.
"Playing every weekend on the road, this has become one of our fan-favorite songs, and I just knew we had to bring this song to life through video," he said. "I think fans are going to love what we did throughout this one. It's the first time I have actually performed with an electric guitar in a music video!"