No barbecue ribs? No “Son of a Sinner”: The essential ingredients for Jelly Roll’s breakthrough


Jelly Roll‘s already had a #1 rock hit with “Dead Man Walking,” and now he’s poised to top the country chart for the first time with “Son of a Sinner.”

Were it not for a delayed order of smoked meat and a chance meetup with “Flower Shops” hitmaker Ernest, however, his Music City breakthrough might never have happened.

“I was in the studio one night, and we had already finished the album,” Jelly Roll tells ABC Audio. “And Ernest had texted me. It was like a Sunday night. He said, ‘Hey, man, I’m waiting on my ribs to get cooked next door at this barbecue pit. Are you still over there at the studio?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I’m gonna come over and we’re gonna have a drink or smoke one or something.'”

“And he came in and we were just hanging out, man. We didn’t plan on writing a song. It wasn’t on the books. And he picked up a guitar,” Jelly Roll recalls, before humming the melody. “Man, we wrote that song in probably an hour.”

And if “Son of a Sinner” does make it to #1? Well, the Nashville native predicts it’ll be epic.

“If it’s my first #1, it’s gonna be bad for the city,” he laughs. “We’re gonna turn the lights down like they did that night in Georgia, baby! It’s gonna be a big ‘un up here. It’ll be the biggest #1 party they’ve ever had.” 

Look for Jelly Roll’s new album to arrive sometime this year, featuring the recently released tracks “Need a Favor” and “She.” 

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