Filmed at the iconic Texas dancehall with a history stretching back almost 150 years, the video pairs McCreery’s classically-inspired baritone with artifacts from the country-music past — all discovered in King George’s royal court.
With each black in white frame, McCreery both performs on the venue’s intimate stage and explores the low-slung hall itself. It was actually the hit maker’s first time there, and throughout the video he treats Gruene Hall like hallowed ground, looking at photos and newspaper clippings, walking the well-worn floorboards and soaking up the magical aura. That’s plenty appropriate, since Strait and his Ace In the Hole band played their first gig at Gruene Hall back in 1975, and came back regularly before his big break six years later.
Nowadays, Gruene Hall holds a similar significance to Texan artists as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium does to country as a whole, and since King George moved on, it has hosted countless other icons, from Willie Nelson to Pat Green and more. The nostalgic tone of the video suits McCreery’s heartbroken mid-tempo like a glove, as director Jeff Ray captures a sense of the past not really being gone.
“‘Damn Strait’ is both a classic country heartbreak song as well as a tribute to George Strait,” said McCreery. “I knew I wanted to film it at a place that paid respect to both elements of the song. When my director Jeff Ray suggested Gruene Hall, where George performed regularly with his Ace in the Hole Band before becoming the legend that he is today, I knew that was the perfect location. You can feel the history and the music of country music’s past and present in every inch of that venue. I’ve wanted to visit Gruene Hall for a long time, and now that I have, I’m looking forward to eventually coming back there to do a show.”
“Damn Strait” is the follow up single to McCreery’s fourth consecutive Number One, “You Time.” Both tracks are from his fifth studio album, Same Truck.