Jelly Roll performed his entire Whitsitt Chapel album to a sold-out crowd at the Ryman Auditorium on May 31, including his hit single, “Need a Favor.” The song, which is currently in the Top 5 on the charts, is the debut single from Whitsitt Chapel.
Jelly Roll wrote “Need A Favor” with Austin Nivarel, Joe Ragosta and Rob Ragosta, inspired by Jelly Roll’s visit to church, and his own struggle with his faith and beliefs.
“I was sitting in the back of a church one day and listening to worship music,” Jelly Roll told Grammy.com. “And just not being able to relate with it and where I am with my walk and spirituality. You look at it from that perspective, and you’re like, ‘What is my connection? How would my song to God sound?’ And I feel like it’s, ‘I only talk to God, when I need a favor. I only pray when I ain’t got a prayer.’ The third line in [‘Need a Favor’], to me, is the most powerful line, ‘So who the hell am I, who the hell am I to expect the saving?‘ Just think about the word ‘expect’ in that line, the entitlement of that.
“It was just being honest about how I view the church, and then there’s my personal walk with God, and they’re definitely different,” he added. “So to me, it was trying to create that music with that spirit.”
Jelly Roll kicks off his Backroad Baptism Tour on July 28, joined by a rotating list of opening acts, including Ashley McBryde, Chase Rice, Struggle Jennings, Elle King and more. For a man who once thought his future included time in and out of jail, being able to perform in front of large crowds night after night is more than a dream come true
“It’s the biggest tour we’ve ever done, and the way the record is already performing live is a testament to the fans coming out and resonating with the music,” the 38-year-old told Nashville Lifestyles. “I think [the tour] is one of the places you really feel the impact of the music— seeing the fans, hearing their stories, and seeing the signs people make. They’re sharing a piece of their soul with us. I hope they leave feeling seen, heard, and like they’re not alone in their struggle.”
More than just with his music, Jelly Roll hopes his life can serve as an inspiration to others who were where he once was, in a seemingly hopeless situation with very little probability of escape.
“I feel like there are times I get to be a voice for the voiceless,” Jelly Roll said. “And getting to perform live? You can feel the connection in the room. It’s palpable.”
Find all of Jelly Roll’s music and tour dates at JellyRoll615.com