Thomas Rhett is known for heartfelt ballads about family, love and nostalgia about simpler times, but one track on his upcoming album tells the story of something entirely different.
The country artist's new song with Tyler Hubbard and Russell Dickerson was inspired by a visit they once paid to a group of inmates at a Tennessee men’s prison.
"I could feel myself trembling / When I shook one of their hands," the artist sings in the first verse of his new track, "Death Row." "I thought that he would be a monster / Turns out he’s a lot like I am."
With help from guest vocalists Hubbard and Dickerson -- who were also there for the real-life event that inspired the song -- Thomas Rhett works through the complicated emotions he felt after meeting convicted criminals sentenced to execution.
"Tyler, Russell and I went and played some songs for a men’s prison here in Tennessee. We left with a lot of complex feelings, so I started writing as a way to process the heaviness," he shared in a statement. "Our goal was for people to understand our experience by way of music -- it’s basically a page directly from our journal that day."
In a separate video discussing the collaboration, Dickerson shared: "That day changed our lives, and how we felt walking in to how we felt walking out was two very completely different feelings."
He also described their experience as a "humbling, raw and a total God moment," in an Instagram post.
Thomas Rhett's upcoming album, "Where We Started," will arrive on April 1.