Chris Housman Explores the Underbelly of the ‘Bible Belt’ [PREMIERE]
Chris Housman has an uncanny knack for taking pop country tropes and spinning them into cutting, unvarnished truth. Housman's breakout hit "Red State Blueneck" is a summery two-stepper that interrogates institutional racism with the catchiest chorus you can think of. (For the record, it's the first country song to use the phrase "y'all means all.")
With his new song "Bible Belt," Housman sets his sights on repressive religion backed by a hooky country crooner.
On the surface, Housman isn't doing anything different than most country singers: he's setting his truth to three chords. But when your truth is growing up gay in conservative rural Kansas, that truth looks pretty different than the content of most pop country music.
"Bible Belt" takes on the homophobia at the fore of some branches of Christianity. Housman brings some understanding to the subject, singing, "I know they mean well / Just trying to save you from hell!" But that stunning example of forgiveness turns to an acknowledgment of the pain that intention causes: "I'm still bleeding / From the beating / I got from that Bible belt."
After all, you know what they say about the path to Hell and what it's paved with.
Housman reached out to some trusted companions for the song.
"Knowing this was going to be a tricky subject to tackle, I made sure that I brought this idea into a room I felt completely comfortable in - and my co-writers Chris Sligh and Mary Kutter were a perfect fit to allow me to go there while also writing the song in a way we believe is undeniable," Housman tells The Boot.
"Bible Belt" has well over 1 million views on TikTok so far.
"I want to continue expanding on speaking truths and sharing stories in the Country music format that are experienced by many, but talked about by few."
Housman will perform at "Toast the Rainbow," a Queer NYE Celebration at City Winery on Dec. 31, 2022, in Nashville, sharing the stage with Lila McCann and Autumn Nicholas.