The South

Album: Bury Me in My Boots (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • The Cadillac Three is a Country trio consisting of lead vocalist Jaren Johnston, bass guitarist Kelby Ray and drummer Neil Mason. All three are former members of the Southern Rock band American Bang, whose song "Wild and Young" was a minor hit and also served as the theme tune of WWE's show WWE NXT. Johnston has a parallel career as a successful songwriter having co-penned hits for the likes of Keith Urban ("You Gonna Fly"), Tim McGraw ("Southern Girl") and Jake Owen ("Days Of Gold").
  • This is The Cadillac Three's debut single. Johnston told Billboard magazine that it was inspired by some classic rock. "I wanted something for our live set that mirrored 'Kashmir' by Led Zeppelin – maybe a southern version of that," he explained. "I got into writing it, and started with the lyrics, I remembered the first time I heard 'Sweet Home Alabama,' and I was just mesmerized with it. I thought 'We need something like that.' I wanted to write something that would resonate with kids the way 'Sweet Home Alabama' did for me as a kid, so that's what I was going for."
  • The song features guest vocals from Florida Georgia Line, Mike Eli of the Eli Young Band and The Cadillac Three's former tour mate Dierks Bentley.
  • Johnston explained to Roughstock the inspiration behind the song: "I sat down and wrote it by myself," he said. "I think I had just sat down and watched a Zeppelin DVD. I basically wanted to write something that would affect kids today like 'Sweet Home Alabama' affected me the first time I heard it. It's a real epic, Southern, classic song. That's what my idea for what I wanted 'The South' to be. I wanted it to cover parts of our lives, as far as being from the south and traveling and doing shows down there, but also us going to the north and then at the end of the chorus, inviting everybody to come on down [to the South]!"

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