Craig Campbell Wishes for Country Afterlife in ‘Outskirts of Heaven’


BY LORIE LIEBIG Wide Open Country

Craig Campbell talks about his simple hopes for life after death in his touching new track, “Outskirts of Heaven.”

The single, which hits country airwaves on April 11, was written by Campbell and Dave Turnbull, who has previously penned heartfelt hits for Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley. Centered around his wishes for the afterlife, Campbell hopefully explains how longs to continue his country style of living and loving long after he’s gone from the earth.

“When I die I wanna live on the outskirts of heaven, where there’s dirt roads for miles,” Campbell sings. ” 
Hay in the fields and fish in the river where there’s Dogwood trees and honeybees, and blue skies and green grass forever. Lord, when I die, I wanna live on the outskirts of heaven.”

Although death is a subject that is usually seen as taboo for most mainstream country artists, Campbell tackles it with grace and wisdom. The deep message of the track is one that Campbell says is very close to his heart. “This song is so special to me,” he shared in a press release. “It’s me, it’s what I believe and it’s a song my momma would be very proud of.”

READ MORE: Craig Campbell Reunites Military Family During Concert [WATCH]

Click below to hear Craig Campbell’s new single, “Outskirts of Heaven.”

Hear Craig Campbell's Classic-Country New Song 'Outskirts of Heaven'

"I sing about what I know, and what I believe in," says the "Keep Them Kisses Comin'" singer of his spiritual new single

BY MARISSA R. MOSS  Rolling Stone

Craig Campbell's new song is mix of traditional country twang and a declaration of faith.

Hank Williams did it. So did the Louvin Brothers. Even Bob Dylan. But nowadays — save for the frequent shout-out to Jesus or thematic thread in a Carrie Underwood song — it's not quite so popular to sing overtly about your faith in modern country music. Just don't tell that to Craig Campbell, who's never been particularly concerned about toning down his neo-traditionalist twang or his beliefs. The Georgia native certainly doesn't hold back on his new single, "Outskirts of Heaven," a ballad with a sweeping, Nineties-style twang. (Watch the song's lyric-video premiere above.)

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"I was laying in bed, thinking about heaven one night," Campbell tells Rolling Stone Country about the evening he came up with the idea for "Outskirts of Heaven." "What I have been taught about heaven is all pearly gates and golden streets — very big-city. And it hit me that that is the absolute opposite of where I grew up. So I had this idea to write a song about how, maybe, when I get to heaven I want to live in the outskirts, and how I can write this song as a request to the good lord. Maybe he'll set aside me a few acres on the outside of town for me."

Written with Dave Turnbull, "Outskirts of Heaven" is another preview of the material Campbell has been concocting in his new relationship with Red Bow Records, following 2015's "Tomorrow, Tonight." First known for his equally poignant "Family Man," Campbell's since had to weather his original label shuttering, which put a stall on a career that had garnered him comparisons to Alan Jackson and Clint Black. But now he's back in the studio, collecting material for his next album. And while he's pleased that the country radio dial is turning back toward the traditional sound that he grew up loving in small-town Georgia, he also never saw a problem with any direction the genre may have been headed.

"I've never been un-pleased with it," he says. "There are a lot of people upset with what's on the radio, with everybody using the same ideas, but I feel like that's what makes our genre great — nobody has defined or can define it. Though I do get particularly fired up when I hear somebody on the radio who leans more traditional, like Chris Stapleton or Mo Pitney."

Touring through summer, Campbell is currently recording demos for his album and is constantly seeking out and writing new songs — 10 or 20 land in his inbox a week, he says. And he's not censoring himself when it comes to including more tracks about faith, or dealing with his experience in the past few years shuffling between labels.

"That rocked my world, but I got through it," he says. "And it might work its way into my music in an indirect kind of way, getting a new deal and having a new lease on life. I sing about what I know, and what I believe in."

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