press photo of Jackson Dean
David McClister

Rooted in Country: Jackson Dean on Eric Church's 'Lightning'


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With one album under his belt, Maryland-born singer-songwriter Jackson Dean has already earned a dedicated following due to his rock and blues-infused country. His hard-driving "Don't Come Lookin'" was even featured in an episode of Yellowstone.

It's no surprise that Dean was raised on the music of another member of country music's new class of outlaws, Eric Church. When the soulful singer reflects on the country songs that have shaped him, he remembers getting lost in Church's lyrics about grief, regret and redemption in the chilling story song "Lightning," one of the Chief's most powerful -- and underrated -- songs.

"I used to ride in my Bronco by my lonesome and listen to it. It's a hell of a story," Dean tells Wide Open Country of the song featured on Church's 2006 album Sinners Like Me. "You don't hear songs like that nowadays."

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Dean released his full-length debut album Greenbroke earlier this year.

 

Eric Church 'Lightning' Lyrics:

These four walls of Farnworth
Are closin' in on me
My final meal's over
They're gonna set me free
I can feel the fire's a burnin'
As the devil guards my door
I hit my knees in search of Jesus
On a cold jailhouse floor
Lord, now I'm singin'
"Get me out of here"
I see the preacher's eyes
As my daughter cries
When they strap me in this chair
Lord, I hope she forgives me
For livin' my life this way
Tonight I ride the lightning
To my final judgment day
Every life owes a death
That's what the Bible says
I owe mine to this state
For shootin' that boy to death
A liquor store attendant
He was reachin' for his gun
Now his Momma sits there smilin'
As the boss yells
"Roll on one
Now I'm singin'
"Get me out of here"
I see the preacher's eyes
As my daughter cries
And they strap me in this chair
I hope she forgives me
For leavin' her this way
Tonight I ride the lightning
To my final restin' place
A hungry blue eyed baby cryin'
Made me rob that store
An' as that boy lay there dyin'
I dropped my pistol on the floor
Yeah, I'd take it all back but there's nothin' I can do
They've covered my face
An' the order's gone through
As the boss yells "Roll on, two"
Now I'm flyin'
Up an' out of here
I close my eyes an' slowly rise
Let my body leave this chair
Lord I hope you forgive me
For livin' my life this way
Yeah, tonight I ride the lightning
To my final restin' place
These four walls of Farnworth
Are closin' in on me

 

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READ MORE: Rooted in Country: Cristina Vane on Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'

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