On episode #291 of his podcast, the BobbyCast, Bobby Bones brought on longtime Nashville songwriter, Casey Beathard, who has written hits for Eric Church, Kenny Chesney and more. The songwriter wrote many of the tracks on Church’s upcoming triple album, Heart & Soul, the first installment of which is due out April 16. Beathard is part of Church’s somewhat exclusive group of songwriters, and Beathard says he got in on the “ground floor” when Church’s career was just beginning.
“[Publisher Arturo Buenahora] played me Eric and it was just a guitar and vocal of a song called ‘Lightning’ that went on his first record, and it was just a no brainer,” said Beathard. “I heard it and go, ‘Goodnight, this is good.’ Then we developed a relationship before he had anything going.”
“We just hit it off,” he added. “We spent a lot of time together and he had nothing going on. There’s not many people that know who they are and what they’re going to say like he does.”
Beathard went on to write “Like A Wrecking Ball,” “Like Jesus Does,” “Homeboy” (which he says is a “dramatization” of his son Tucker Beathard’s rebellious phase), “The Outsiders,” “Hell of a View” and more. Before he teamed up with Church in his early days, Beathard also had the opportunity to collaborate with a young Taylor Swift, which he turned down.
“I said, ‘I don’t know. I just don’t know if I have anything in common. I don’t think I could do that,’” Beathard recalls of his decision at the time. “The truth is, I was right. My kids always say, ‘Dad, you screwed up’ and ‘What are you doing?’ No, man. None of my songs would have made her records anyway. She knows what she’s doing, she knows her audience, she knows who she is, and I would have gone in there and tried to bully her, ‘No you can’t say that,’ whatever.”
Beathard also chatted about the songs he’s written for Kenny Chesney, including “Boys Of Fall,” Chesney’s nostalgic 2010 tune about high school football. Beathard revealed he was coaching a boys’ football league at the time he wrote the song, and the song title actually came from an email sent by a parent whose child was not playing that year.
“One day, he checked in, and I think the subject line was — because he was missing being out there watching practice — he goes, ‘How are my boys of fall?’ And I’d never heard that before and I was like, ‘Huh.’ So I just tucked it away, and I was sitting there with Dave [Turnbull] one day and it was fall, windows open, and I heard a lawnmower and then that smell started coming in the window, and I was like, ‘Gosh, doesn’t that smell like a Friday night? It reminds me of football and just being in a field and playing.’”
Beathard also talked about the aftermath of the death of his son, Clay, and other songs he’s written within the episode.