Brantley Gilbert has hit the road as an opening act for several artists, including Eric Church and Willie Nelson. But touring with Toby Keith, on Keith's 2012 Live in Overdrive Tour, left an impression that Gilbert says will inspire him for the rest of his career.

“A cool thing about that tour was meeting people that had been in his crew for 20 years and still talk good about him, which to me, in this business, a lot a times it’s cutthroat, and you gotta make some decisions," Gilbert tells Nashville.com. "Sometimes people’s feelings get hurt, but to have people that have worked for you for 20 years and still believe in you and talk good about you, dude did something right."

Gilbert also spent time on tour with Tim McGraw last year, on McGraw's 2014 Sundown Heaven Town Tour. The "One Hell of An Amen" singer says that he gained a lot of respect for McGraw after spending so much time with him.

“No joke, Tim’s an awesome dude, on and offstage,” Gilbert says. “We share some lifestyle choices … You know, Tim’s been sober for a while. He had some great advice as far as that goes and as far as business went.”

Gilbert, who also headlined his own 2014 Let It Ride Tour, was inspired by both Keith and McGraw to treat his own crew as well as they do.

“That’s only something that I can hope, at the end of the day, that’s pretty much my long-term goal, is all the guys that work for me, and with me, to look back after 20 years and say, you know what, that dude did right by me," he says.

Unfortunately, while he didn't name names, Gilbert says that some negative experiences have influenced him as well.

"Everybody handles themselves differently on the road," he adds. "I think we’ve all had positive and negative experiences. I think the negative ones really teach you how to treat people when the tables turn. But, the positive things through the years have been, there’s too many to name.”

Gilbert is headlining several of his own shows this year, as well as opening for Kenny Chesney on select stadium dates on his The Big Revival Tour. A list of all of Gilbert's upcoming shows is available on his website.

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