Dusty Black’s ‘Right Church, Wrong Pew’ Honors His Dad’s Memory [Exclusive Premiere]
Country newcomer Dusty Black knows his father, Allen, approves of his debut single, "Right Church, Wrong Pew," even if he isn't around to celebrate its release with his son. The singer's late dad signed off on the track -- premiering exclusively on The Boot -- before his death one year ago.
"I was sitting on the back porch, picking the guitar and talkin' about life and growing up with my dad when Jordan Walker sent me this song after church one Sunday," Black recalls of how "Right Church, Wrong Pew" -- which the former Walker McGuire member co-wrote with Michael Heeney and Kenton Bryant -- made its way to him. "Both my father and I lit up when we first heard the demo, and he said, 'Now, son ... That's a dang country song.' It became one our all-time favorites that we would play and sing together often."
In the first verse, it's his family keeping Black (mostly) on the straight and narrow; in the second, it's a woman. "I was livin' my life like Saturday night was the last one I ever got," he admits in the uptempo song -- but no matter what, the next morning, he'd "run a comb through my hair and chug some water in the parking lot," and be in church.
"I'd leave the Devil at the door and slip the back / Back where the trouble's always hidin' out at / Preacher sayin' words that'll save my soul / I'm just waitin' on that last 'Amen' so I can roll," Black sings in the chorus. "I'm a long shot from Heaven if I keep on living this life with a back-row view / With me, it's the right church and the wrong pew."
"I think we've all been there in that fight between doing what's right and doing what's fun -- getting our priorities mixed up at times, or living in the moment rather than living for God," Black reflects. "Growing up in my house, it didn't matter what you did on Saturday night -- you better get your butt up and get to church on Sunday morning. I know a lot of country boys and girls who can relate with that."
Born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., Black gets his love of country music from his grandfather, Floyd Black, nicknamed "Junior," who played guitar and banjo for Johnny Cash. Black's dad sang, too, and helped his son find his musical style when he was young. It's fitting, then, that Black sings, "My old man, like his old man, had a hand that made you walk the line," to open "Right Church, Wrong Pew."
"When my father passed away ... I decided that I was going to pursue a career in country music. Losing him suddenly to cancer made me realize how short life is and how important it is to do what you love and chase your dreams," Black shares. "I knew our song "Right Church, Wrong Pew" had to be the first song I cut."
"Right Church, Wrong Pew," produced by Colt Ford and Noah Gordon, is due out widely on Friday (Oct. 23) -- the one-year anniversary of Black's father's death -- via Black Label Country Records. It's available to pre-order and pre-save now.
Listen to Dusty Black's "Right Church, Wrong Pew"
10 Essential Albums for Your Country Music Education: