Clint Black, All-Star Guests’ ‘This Old House’ Honors the Grand Ole Opry [LISTEN]
Clint Black calls his new single, "This Old House," a "new old song." That track and one other, "No One's Here for Me," narrowly missed inclusion on the singer's debut album, Killin' Time, in 1989, but 30 years later, he's releasing it as something bigger than he could have imagined back then.
Back when Black and frequent co-writer Hayden Nicholas wrote "This Old House" in the late '80s, they didn't intend to write a tribute to the Grand Ole Opry; rather, "He and I were just writing a song about the house he grew up in," Black tells The Boot. When Black was debating which songs to record for his debut project, "This Old House" nearly made the cut.
"I was only gonna put one waltz on the album, and that ended up being "Walkin' Away,"" Black explains. "It could have been "This Old House;" "Walkin' Away" could have been the one that was pushed aside. It was just -- I don't know, the mood we were in, or whatever, that drove that decision."
In retrospect, Black says, he's happy "This Old House" didn't make it onto his first record. If it had, the singer reasons, the song would likely never have taken on a brand-new life in 2019, ultimately becoming a single that not only encompasses a much broader message, but also allowed him to call on some of the genre's most enduring stars in homage to the Opry's hallowed halls.
"I really liked the song [before] -- and now I love it," Black adds.
Sara Evans, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Cody Jinks, Michael Ray, Travis Tritt, Darius Rucker and Steve Wariner all appear on the new version of "This Old House," which Black debuted on Friday (Nov. 1), along with a nostalgic music video, which readers can watch above. Proceeds from the song will benefit the Opry Trust Fund, which was established in 1965 to help country music industry members in times of need. The Fund has distributed more than $2 million in its nearly 55 years.
The Grand Ole Opry Through the Years
"This Old House" leads Black's forthcoming new album, Still Killin' Time, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of his lauded debut record with eight live tracks and two brand-new studio recordings. The artist says he knew he wanted to made those two new recordings -- "This Old House" and "No One's Here for Me," both of which were contenders for inclusion on Killin' Time -- part of the new album from the start. One day, however, it dawned on him that the former song could be something more than intended.
"It suddenly struck me that this song could be an homage to the Opry, and that house," he recalls. "I don't even remember the moment it sort of grew into the idea."
When it came time to select his musical guests, Black says that much of the final decision was left up to fate. "I started out with a big list, and then it was just a matter of who was around, who could do it and who wanted to do it," he explains. "Everyone on there, I just got lucky with the timing ... and then there were still others on the list who we just couldn't nail down in time."
Even though it was impossible to include every artist on his wish list, Black says the song as it stands has the perfect number of contributors; if more acts had said yes, "It would have been too fragmented," he reasons. "Fate really played a hand in making just the right amount of guests to not make it feel too chopped up."
Just as special, Black goes on to say, was the process of filming the song's music video, backstage at the Opry. Although the singer has performed at the iconic Nashville venue countless times throughout the course of his career, spending time there in this unusual capacity allowed him to see the hall in an entirely new light.
"You know, when I'm there, it's filled with people. We're all talking to each other, taking pictures, jamming, warming up," he relates. "Going back there when it's empty is completely different, because now it's about the rooms -- about the design, the layout, the photos on the wall ... it's got so much more weight to it. And then, just looking at it with the video in mind, the way we're gonna use footage of our guests and footage from the Opry archives -- looking at it all that way is really thrilling."
"This Old House" is available for download and purchase now.
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