Lady A‘s Charles Kelley embarked on a “journey to sobriety” nearly five months ago. On Friday, the 41-year-old singer released a confessional track dubbed “As Far As You Could”, which details his struggle with addiction and his ongoing recovery.
Kelley’s new track — described as “a goodbye letter to alcohol” — is a redemptive ballad he co-wrote following a “public decision to stop drinking and begin addiction treatment.” Kelley teased the track back around Thanksgiving when he posted an unfinished demo, but he’s now dropped the full track just days before Christmas.
“For me, the biggest word I’ve been holding on to is gratitude, not pride,” Kelley said via a news release. “I’m grateful. I finally see the light and am connecting with what life is all about. Some days are hard, but the good so outweighs those bad moments. There’s some beauty in all this and I’ve had time to reflect, time to get healthy, time to write. I’ve probably written 50 songs this fall, and I feel like all of it was leading to this one song.”
Kelley, who co-wrote the track with Lady A bandmate Dave Haywood and Jimmy Robbins, puts pen to paper the “inner conflict experienced by many, mixing sadness and serenity as Kelley recounts the steps along his path — both good and bad.”
The tracks opens with this verse, “It’s why I moved to Nashville / Why I almost left / You made me feel alive / But you scared me half to death / Thought I couldn’t hit that stage / Without you runnin’ through my veins / Now I sing the songs I always have / But the meaning’s bound to change.”
Kelley opens up even more in the second verse when he evokes his wife, Cassie McConnell.
“You gave me the courage / The night I met my wife / You helped me make her laugh / ‘Til you helped me make her cry / You started out a friend / Turned into somethin’ else / Now I like who I am / With you sittin’ on the shelf.”
The new track comes after Lady A back in August hit pause on their fall tour to support Kelley’s “journey to sobriety.”
“Being on the road with our fans is our greatest joy, so it was a hard but important decision to make,” the statement read at the time. “We are a band, but more importantly… we’re a family. We’re proud to say that Charles has embarked on a journey to sobriety. So, right now in order to be the healthiest, strongest and most creative band we can be, Lady A will take the time with the support of our families and team of professionals to walk through this together. It’s early on this road, but we are determined to do what will best set us up for many more years together. We’re grateful for your patience.”
Days after that announcement, Kelley took to social media and thanked fans for their support.
“I want to thank everyone who has shown me so much support and encouragement so far on my journey of sobriety,” the “Need You Now” singer wrote.
He continued, “Y’alls kind words have meant the world to me and really lifted me up over the past few weeks. I can’t wait to get back on the road with Lady A next year. Getting on that stage and being able to see, hear and feel everything through a clearer lens is going to be a gift that I won’t take for granted. I’m grateful for this time to focus on my family and my health. Love, Charles.”
Kelley is scheduled to return to the stage for the UK’s C2C Festival in March 2023. Lady A will then relaunch their “Request Line Tour”, beginning in Nashville on April 14, 2023.
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