In one of the most profound and personal moments of his career, Lady A’s Charles Kelley is today releasing his goodbye letter to alcohol, sharing the confessional “As Far As You Could.” Aided by the gift of desperation, Kelley co-wrote the redemptive ballad after a public decision to stop drinking and begin addiction treatment. After an outpouring of support, the next months were filled with reflection, accountability, and songwriting, with the powerful “As Far As You Could” marking a turning point in Kelley’s recovery. The country star shared the track with fans before Thanksgiving, posting an unfinished demo and just before Christmas, the fully produced single was released via BMLG Records.
“For me, the biggest word I’ve been holding on to is gratitude, not pride,” Kelley says of his journey so far. “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.”
Co-written and produced alongside Lady A bandmate Dave Haywood and Jimmy Robbins, the stirring ballad captures an inner conflict experienced by many, mixing sadness and serenity as Kelley recounts the steps along his path – both good and bad. Boldly honest and ending on an inspirational high, the compassionate track takes songwriting as therapy to a new level. The single leans into the deeply-personal theme with a raw and unfiltered sound, relying on a piano played by Haywood, and a bruised-but-resilient vocal.
Building in courage-swelling layers, it will now stand as a solo single from Kelley – but like his journey, it has the full support of his Lady A bandmates. Along with Haywood and Hillary Scott, the trio even considered putting their stamp on “As Far As You Could,” but ultimately thought better.
“We were almost afraid that if we put a bunch of vocals on it, that might take away from the pain and authenticity of that singular vocal,” Kelley adds. “Hillary especially felt it was important for me to tell my story, kind of the same way she was able to do with ‘Thy Will.’ With their blessing, I’m putting this out, but it will live right alongside everything else we do.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, about 10 percent of Americans will struggle with addiction at some point in their lives – and the ripple effects of those struggles touch almost everyone else. Ultimately, Kelley hopes sharing his story will help spread support and understanding for others.