A Franklin church can be spotted in a new music video on the CMT channel.
Country artist J.D. Shelburne is no stranger to town — he has played multiple shows on the square as part of Franklin-Simpson Renaissance’s Summer Nights Concert Series, and on July 1, his video for his newest single “Church Pew Barstool” premiered worldwide on CMT and www.CMT.com
The music video consisted of only one day of shooting, and was filmed inside of Bethel Grove Church this spring.
“This was one of the first songs I recorded ‘Church Pew Barstool,’ my old neighbor Mark Nesler wrote this song — he’s had a ton of success he’s written for Tim McGraw, George Strait — he sent me this song and a bunch of songs and I was just shocked that nobody had recorded it. I thought the message of the song portrayed that it needed to be shot in a church,” Shelburne said.
“I fell in love with the story and the melody the first time I heard [the song]. I think people can relate to the story,” he added. “I grew up in a Baptist church and I think the song portrays what a lot of people go through these days, and I feel like the person depicted in the song started out as a sinner — and one line in the song is ‘I forget to pray unless I’m in trouble’ and by the end of the song it’s almost like he finds faith in the quote ‘the good book says to do what he would do’ and he does. I just feel like no matter what road you lead if you put your trust in God it changes you. The song really tells that story and I feel like so many people can relate to that.”
He began talking with his production team and they agreed the atmosphere for the video should be in an old country church. Shelburne said he thought of Amy Ellis, Franklin-Simpson Renaissance executive director.
“Amy and I have been friends — she’s booked me several times through the years and since Franklin isn’t far from Nashville, I shot her a text and she told me she had the perfect place,” he said. “The church brought the song to life and there couldn’t have been a better church in the country then what Franklin, Ky., had so I was very grateful they let us use [the venue.]”
Shelburne, who grew up in Taylorsville, said he felt at home while filming.
“Being from Kentucky, and my roots, I really feel like I’m home when I cross the state line. Even when I was at the church I spent a lot of time sitting there waiting for the production team to set the next scene up and I felt like I was home,” he said.
Logen Christopher at Stormlight Pictures directed the music video.
“I have a lot of fans I’ve built in Franklin,” Shelburne said. “Amy booked me for one of the summer nights concert series three or four years ago and I notice those same people will show up and they bring their friends and neighbors so I’ve really gotten to know the people of Franklin and it reminds me of Taylorsville, a close-knit community. I just love Franklin, love the people there and they’ve all become friends rather than fans.”
Shelburne was featured on the cover of the 2020 Kentucky Tourism Guide and was recently chosen as the Texas Roadhouse artist of the month nationwide.
Shelburne said that while the pandemic is ongoing he has not been touring, but instead spending time in the studio. His album Straight From Kentucky is set to release later this year.
He is scheduled to play the Kentucky State Fair as part of the Texas Roadhouse Concert Series on Friday, Aug. 28.
As of press time on July 7, 2020, the video had reached 100,000 views on Facebook and was voted on the CMT 12-Pack Countdown. Follow Shelburne by visiting his website jdshelburne.com.
Watch his new video: "Church Pew Barstool"