Jobe Fortner’s ‘That’s My Amen’ Is Open to Interpretation [Exclusive Premiere]
Although a specific moment or feeling may inspire a song, its meaning and message are open for interpretation by listeners once it's released to the world. Jobe Fortner is embracing that ambiguousness with his new single "That's My Amen."
"I would like for people to look at the song in whatever context and dig as deep into the lyrics as they want," he shares ahead of the song's debut. "That's My Amen" is premiering exclusively via Taste of Country and our partner site, The Boot; press play below to listen.
Upbeat, rock-leaning guitars and a spare, but steady, drumbeat guide "That's My Amen." In the song, Fortner pledges to live and let live: He sees things in his own way, so he understands that others do, too. "No one has the right to tell you that it's wrong," he sings.
"Last time I heard Mama's voice / She said ... 'Boy, just keep on keepin' on' / And that's my hallelujah / That's my Amen / And that's what keeps these big wheels turnin' 'round and 'round again," Fortner shares in the song's final verse — a hint at the real-life inspiration behind "That's My Amen." He wrote the song after the death of his mother in early 2019.
Fortner was on a West Coast tour with Whiskey Myers when he learned that his mom had suffered a heart attack, after breaking her arm. Before she went in for surgery, they spoke on the phone — what would turn out to be their final conversation — and she told her son to "keep on keeping on."
By the time Fortner made it back to his home state of Georgia, for a headlining show in Athens, his mother was in a coma at a hospital close to the venue. He was able to visit before she died the afternoon of the concert; he chose not to postpone his set based on her last words to him.
A Dahlonega, Ga. native, Fortner grew up singing in church, before a move to Monroe, Ga., turned his attention to football. In high school, although he remained focused on the sport, Fortner began learning how to play guitar from his English teacher — a hobby until college, when he began playing small shows wherever and whenever he could.
Fortner moved to Nashville in early 2016 and released his self-titled debut EP in early 2018. He's played shows with, among others, the Cadillac Three, Dwight Yoakam and Luke Combs.
"That's My Amen" is due out widely on Friday (July 16) and available to pre-save and pre-order now; the song follows Fortner's single "Bat Out of Birmingham," released in May. Fans can keep up with Fortner on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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