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Story Behind the Song: Jason Aldean, ‘Relentless’

In May of 2008, Jason Aldean released “Relentless” as the third single from his 2007 album of the same name. The song was written by James LeBlanc and John Paul White, the latter of whom was, at the time, a solo artist and had not yet formed the Civil Wars.

Following its release, “Relentless” became a Top 20 single on the country charts. Below, LeBlanc recalls to The Boot his memories of writing the song.

He was another one of my songwriting partners, and it was just another day in the life of a professional songwriter, where we made appointments with each other and sat down and tried to write a song. It was one of those days.

You never know — or I don’t, anyway — which day and which song is going to wind up being “the one.” I know when I really like something, and I know I really liked “Relentless,” but it’s not enough for me to just really like it. A whole lot of people have to really like it; a song has to go through a bunch of hoops before it gets to the radio.

John Paul White did the demo, and he did a really, really good demo; it sounded awesome. It sounds a lot like the Aldean record … After that, that’s about all I really know. It wound up being the title track — that was extra cool.

[When I heard Aldean’s version of the song], I thought it was awesome. It’s fascinating to me; it blows my mind even more now that anybody likes my stuff enough to want to cut it, record it, sing it. I just remember it being incredible. And then, you find out it’s gonna be on the record — that’s just exciting enough — and then you find out it’s going on the radio, and that was amazing. I just remember feeling like, “Thank God,” because somebody’s digging my stuff enough to want to put it out, much less put it on the radio.

It was a great feeling, for real.

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