Chase Rice Honors His Late Father With Passionate Project Unlike Any Other

Photo: Getty Images, Album Artwork

Chase Rice delved into a range of emotions — love, regret, redemption and more — to craft “the best album of my career,” dedicated to his late father. The country singer-songwriter dropped his long-awaited album, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell, on Friday (February 10).

Rice posted a photo of the album artwork on Instagram on Thursday night (February 9), gearing up for the long-awaited debut of the project that contains his most vulnerable music yet. Rice marked the occasion as the night he released the “best album of my career.”

“This one just took a lot out of me,” Rice said. “Hates in the title but love is the theme. I’ve learned a lot from so many of my screw ups, and this is just the start of that. Selfishly, I may have done this one more for me than for anybody, but I hope more than anything that y’all love it. Thanks to everybody for the ride so far.”

The 13-track album includes a few previously-released anthems that quickly became fan-favorites, including “Way Down Yonder,” “Key West & Colorado,” “I Hate Cowboys,” and “Bench Seat,” which he said is “the darkest but most real thing I’ve ever done in music,” bringing attention to mental health and other important issues. Rice is credited as a songwriter on all 13 tracks, including three solo writes, according to a press release issued Friday. Rather than using a traditional studio, Rice and producer Oscar Charles made a 24/7 workspace out of Rice’s rural home to “capture a rugged, authentic sound.”

1. Walk That Easy (Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles)

2.  All Dogs Go To Hell (Chase Rice, Joshua Miller, John Byron)

3. Way Down Yonder (Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass, Corey Crowder)

4. Key West & Colorado (Chase Rice, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Hunter Phelps)

5. Bench Seat (Chase Rice)

6. Life Part Of Livin’ (Chase Rice)

7. Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer (Chase Rice, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Justin Thomas)

8. Oklahoma feat. Read Southall Band (Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles, Read Southall)

9. I Walk Alone (Chase Rice, Jaxson Free, Josh Hoge)

10. Sorry Momma (Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson)

11. If I Were Rock & Roll (Album Version) (Chase Rice)

12. Goodnight Nancy feat. Boy Named Banjo (Chase Rice, Oscar Charles, Barton Davies, William Reames, Jonathan Sherwood)

13. I Hate Cowboys (Chase Rice, Michael Hardy, Ross Copperman, Brad Tursi)

“People always say that Nashville is a 10-year town; that it usually takes 10 years of grinding to finally reach that moment of breakthrough success,” Rice reflected in a statement. “For me, though, I was part of a group of songwriters that found lightning in a bottle immediately when I moved to town. It was a wild ride that I hung onto and tried to replicate as much as I could. What I’ve realized, though, is that I never identified who I am as my own artist. Now, a decade later, I know that my 10 years in this town were all about discovering my true self and getting to this point of releasing an album that I can honestly say reflects the man I want to be from start to finish.”

Rice features a photo of his late father, Daniel Rice, who died in 2008, on the album cover. The photo captures Rice’s father on a trip to Wyoming in the ‘80s, wearing a cowboy had and holding a beer in each hand. Rice previously told iHeartRadio: “If I'm gonna put my dad as the album cover, it's gonna be music that I'm proud of, and I think he would be proud of.”

“My dad was one of those good guys you read about – tough, hardworking, always helping other people out,” Rice said, per the press release. “I try to live my life in a way that would make him proud. I haven't always measured up to that, but I get closer to that man I want to be and the man he’d be proud of every single day.

“Making this album was a big step towards that musically, too,” he continued. “Not only is it the most vulnerable I've ever been, it’s also something he’d enjoy listening to and is full of stories I wish I could tell him. I’ve always wanted to honor him by using this photo as an album cover, and I know this project is the one that deserves that.”

Listen to “Key West & Colorado” again below. Find the full I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell album on iHeartRadio here.