Justin Holmes Channels The ’90s For New Single, “Heartbreak Honky Tonk”

Country Rebel Records

Fresh on the heels of the success of his debut studio single, Justin Holmes released “Heartbreak Honky Tonk,” a song that is sure to resonate with fans of ’90s country.

Country Rebel Records’ flagship artist, Justin Holmes, is celebrating the success of his first single, “Drink You Down,” with the release of a new song called “Heartbreak Honky Tonk” and its corresponding music video.  A Kentucky native who was raised on ’90s country, Holmes channeled some of his favorite artists of that decade to pen the song that could have easily found a place on a George Strait, Brooks & Dunn or Tracy Lawrence album thirty years ago.

“I grew up on ‘90s music. I liked all the Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence, Alan Jackson … There’s always heartbreak songs and the ‘90s and the late ‘80s had a lot to do with the honky-tonk scene, so that kept floating around in my brain and I wondered, what if that honky tonk was called the Heartbreak Honky Tonk?”

So Holmes put pen into paper and wrote a song that combined two prevalent themes of classic country music. The result was a song that paid homage to the artists he admired and told a story about why a guy goes to a place called the Heartbreak Honky Tonk. 


When Justin wrote “Heartbreak Honky Tonk” he never anticipated it being recorded, let alone becoming a single. But, the more he sang it, the more positive feedback he got, and the more he realized that the song resonated with people and needed to be on a bigger platform.

Holmes also realized that country audiences still crave the sounds of ’80s and ’90s country and credits artists like newcomer Zach Top for keeping it relevant.

“I really like seeing the younger guys that maybe caught the tail end of the ‘90s or early 2000s but would go back to the ‘90s. Some of them are so young that their parents grew up on ‘90s country,” Holmes shared. “It’s really cool to see guys like Zach Top looking like Tracy Lawrence straight out of ‘92. He sounds amazing and we need people like that to bring up that classic country sound. I’m proud to be a part of that because that’s the music I loved when I was a kid.”

Not only did Justin Holmes get to record a song that reflects the message and sound of what is considered one of the best decades of country music, but he got to bring it to life with a music video.

Filmed at the legendary Nashville Palace, the music video for “Heartbreak Honky Tonk” stars Redneck Records’ artist Jessie G and her husband, Matt.

The concept for the “Heartbreak Honky Tonk” music video was dreamed up by Justin Holmes, but was brought to life by producer Jerrod Neimann and director Ryan Hamblin.

“It was really helpful to have Jerrod and Ryan on that because they’ve so much experience with music videos,” Holmes said. “So they kept the foundation of my idea and they just built on that into something that is way better than my original idea.”


Holmes also credits the professionalism and dynamics of the video to the casting of Jessie G and her husband Matt who portrayed the lead roles.

“You can see their chemistry when they’re dancing and when they’re having the flashback moments of the good times. I think they did awesome. I told them, ‘I don’t know…maybe y’all should just head out to L.A. and just start the acting careers now. Let this video be your promo,'” Holmes joked, adding that the tears seen from Matt in the video are real. 

“Matt kind of stepped away for a second and he had to pull up some old bad memories. I told him, ‘You don’t gotta do that, man. We can get Visine or something.’ He said, ‘No, I got it.’ He was a true professional.”

The final result was a song and music video that brought Justin Holmes full circle.

Justin Holmes first garnered attention when his cover of Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” went viral in 2016. A chance meeting then led to an invitation for him to deliver a tribute performance to George Jones at the George Jones Museum. Holmes’ cover of Jones’ “The Grand Tour” earned millions of views across all social media platforms and brought attention to a video for his original tune, “Damn Addiction.” To date, that video has been viewed more than 4 million times on YouTube alone and has more than 16 million streams on Spotify.

YouTube video

After becoming the first artist signed to Country Rebel Records, Justin Holmes was granted the opportunity to share his music in a way he never dreamed would be possible. And it’s only fitting that his second studio release with the label is a nod to the generation of country music stars whose songs granted him a social media audience and an opportunity to share his gift with the world.

See the music video for “Heartbreak Honky Tonk” below.

Stream and download “Heartbreak Honky Tonk” now on Apple or Spotify. And hear more from Justin Holmes on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

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