Sign up for newsletter
 

Gilbert, Ell team up for "What Happens in a Small Town"

Monday, December 10, 2018 – Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell teamed up to record "What Happens in a Small Town," which goes to country radio Dec. 14.

Gilbert, Brock Berryhill, Josh Dunne and Rhett Akins wrote the song produced by Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Megadeth, Midland, Kane Brown). The song includes the lines

"What happens in a small town/ Stays in a small town/ Every back road we've ever gone down/ Friday night bleachers, Sunday pews/ Ain't a county line mile without a memory of you..."

"This song builds and burns," Gilbert said. "It really has that want for someone you can't have, and having to live in all the places they are. I wanted to have someone on the record who could match those feelings, to really push the song. It's not just any female who makes sense, and we knew that. But Lindsay is a whole other kind of artist, and she understands that power."

Ell also played guitar on the song. "Lindsay plays with the same emotion that she sings with," Gilbert said. "Her voice is as intense on that guitar as it is when it comes out of her mouth. It's awesome, and it's something Dann and I both knew we wanted."

"It was great that they wanted me to play," Ell said. "To be part of a song like this is great, but to be asked to play on someone's song who I respect so much takes it up another level. Obviously playing in front of Dann Huff is something else, but he knew how to really push me - and get a vocal that contains everything situations like this one are made of."

Gilbert said the song came from his life's experiences. "Songs that come from your life just have another kind of power," Gilbert said. "People can hear the difference, and they know. For this song, obviously I'm not the only guy - or girl - who's been there, but I'm lucky/blessed enough to have been able to put it back together."

"Music, especially music that rocks this hard, crashes through pride, ego and whatever else is in the way," Ell said. "Being able to play on this opened up the feelings to me. When I went in to do the vocal, it was all about really channeling that pain."

More news

CD reviews

Fire & Brimstone CD review - Fire & Brimstone
It would be easy (and lazy journalism) to write about how much Brantley Gilbert's music is un-country. You need only isolate the drum parts for most of these latest songs to confirm this is primarily a rock recording (masked as country). However, there are some quality - if not exactly country - songs on this effort, which cry out for a different sort of evaluation. Gilbert saves his best for last with "Man That Hung The Moon," a song about fatherhood that will likely bring many dads to tears. »»»
The Continuum Project CD review - The Continuum Project
"The Continuum Project" is Lindsay Ell's cover of, not a John Mayer song, but a full John Mayer album. As good as it is, though, one must wonder about the necessity.. With Ell working towards finding her niche in mainstream country, how would reimagining the work of a distinctly non-country artist's album (and not even attempting to make these songs sound country) help her cause? Ell, who also recently collaborated with Keith Urban on the song "Horses" for his »»»
The Project CD review - The Project
It's odd, when you consider how many singer/songwriters play guitar, how few of them are consummate guitar players. And even fewer of those are ladies. Lindsay Ell knows this all too well, and for years has been applying for a job that is only starting to exist. She's the pretty lady crooning up front and the bandleader. Ell mastered most anything with strings as a teen. The Calgary, Canada native was discovered by fellow Canuck Randy Bachman, who ushered in her earliest recordings while »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tillis unlocks "Looking for a Feeling" "It had been a while since I'd given my fans any new solo music," Pam Tillis explains, when asked about the motivation behind recording her album "Looking for a Feeling." Until recently, Tillis mostly busied herself by recording and touring with... »»»
Hull takes "25 Trips" Sierra Hull would be the first to tell you that releasing a new CD in the teeth of a global pandemic is a challenge. "It's very strange...just adjusting to being home and knowing what that feels like. It's the most I've... »»»
Lewis (and her daughters) make beautiful music (occasionally) and carry on the legacy Linda Gail Lewis has several interesting bullet points on her lengthy resume. She released her first singles in 1963 at age 16, and her first solo album, "The Two Sides of Linda Gail Lewis," in 1969 when she was just 22; her follow up album wouldn't appear... »»»
Co-Starring CD review - Co-Starring
The country music world was more than a little surprised by the news of Big Machine Records signing Ray Wylie Hubbard. This, after all, is the label home for mainstream stars Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts  »»»
First Rose of Spring CD review - First Rose of Spring
It's been obvious for some time now that Willie Nelson is essentially super human. At the age of 87, he's as active as ever, a wizened presence, spiritual icon and guiding light for all those that adore country music and Americana. »»»
Live From Capricorn Sound Studios CD review - Live From Capricorn Sound Studios
Blackberry Smoke's covers EP is not a tribute to just one group. Rather, it's a celebration of one particular recording studio, Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, Ga., instead. Blackberry Smoke has become »»»
Neon Cross CD review - Neon Cross
Many records are touted as inspiring, but few albums actually live up to that billing by actually striking sentiments worthy of universal appeal. In Jaime Wyatt's case, there's never any doubt, »»»
Wild World CD review - Wild World
There are moments while listening to Kip Moore's album where the listener might feel like he/she is sampling new Kid Rock music - albeit, with plenty more heart and soul. Moore sings with a similarly endearing scratchy vocal tone, »»»
Ghosts of West Virginia CD review - Ghosts of West Virginia
In a time when political views are pushing us further apart as a society, Steve Earle is one of the few artists reaching across that divide to seek common ground. In the case of his album, "Ghosts »»»