Penned by Strait with his son Bubba and longtime collaborator Dean Dillon, “The Weight of the Badge” grounds its message about police work in the story of one person. “He’s seen it all, in his 15 years/Watching our backs, facing our fears,” sings Strait, backed by a fingerstyle acoustic guitar pattern and wisps of fiddle before the song blooms into a fuller production with a moody, evocative guitar solo. It’s also careful about issuing any message that could be construed as divisive — just a simple story about someone who works hard and seems to understand the risks and responsibilities of being in a position of authority.
“The Weight of the Badge” follows recent Strait releases “Every Little Honky Tonk Bar” and “God and Country Music” from Honky Tonk Time Machine, out March 29th. The album also includes “Sing One With Willie,” the first-ever duet between Strait and Willie Nelson. On March 30th, Strait will play a one-off show at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Atlanta, Georgia, with guests including Chris Stapleton, Chris Janson and Ashley McBryde.