The Cadillac Three Travel Through Grief in ‘This Town Is a Ghost’


The Cadillac Three tap into the searing, lingering pain of missing a loved one in their powerful new track “This Town Is a Ghost.”

In the song, frontman Jaren Johnston reflects on the loss of his father, former Grand Ole Opry drummer Jerry Ray Johnston, who died on Jan. 9, 2022, at the age of 65. As he opens up about the grief he can’t outrun, Jaren’s emotionally charged vocals are backed by a wave of rich, layered instrumentation that builds up to the track’s stirring chorus.

“This town is a ghost now / Feel like I used to know this city,” he sings. “Now I can’t even go out / In every corner, there’s a memory.”

“I put off writing about my dad’s passing for about as long as I could,” Johnston says. “One day, I was writing with my good friend, Ross Copperman, and I had the title, but I wasn’t sure it would be about Dad. I mentioned the idea of going there with it and Ross loved it. He helped me sculpt a story I knew I could sing with the band. I went more personal than usual.”

Although the process of writing “This Town Is a Ghost” was far from easy, the experience allowed Johnston to let the wave of emotions bearing down him finally flow freely. 

“It was three of the hardest hours of my life,” he notes. “Telling that story of pain to a sweet melody was brutal. Let’s just say I cried a lot that day. Thank you, Ross, for going there with me. I hope the song is a little therapy for anyone that has gone through what I did.”

Watch the official lyric video for “This Town Is a Ghost” below:

The Cadillac Three are currently on their headlining Bandana Tour, named after Jerry Ray Johnston’s former country band. Fans can catch the trio at various music festivals, as well as support for Dierks Bentley, Kip Moore and Koe Wetzel in the months ahead. You can find a complete list of tour dates at the band’s official website.

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