Story Behind the Song: Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton, ‘Dive Bar’
In 2019, Garth Brooks enlisted fellow Oklahoman (and fellow country star) Blake Shelton for a new collaboration: a song called "Dive Bar." The two had previously worked together when Brooks was a guest advisor on The Voice, the TV singing competition for which Shelton is a judge, but it wasn't until Brooks saw Shelton perform at the 2019 ACM Awards that he got the idea to ask Shelton to sing with him.
Brooks co-wrote "Dive Bar" with Bryan Kennedy and Mitch Rossell. The latter is a young singer-songwriter in Nashville, but Brooks is already a big fan: Rossell wrote Brooks' 2017 No. 1 single "Ask Me How I Know" and co-wrote Brooks' 2018 single "All Day Long" with the star and Kennedy.
Rossell also plays a role in the "Dive Bar" music video: That's him playing steel guitar behind Brooks and Shelton. Read on for the story behind the song, as told to The Boot by Rossell.
I had this idea back in January of 2018. I told it to Bryan first, to see if it was as cool as I was hoping it was. He loved it, so we worked on it a little bit and then showed it to Garth. It took about a year to get him fully on board but once he was, he came in swinging with some killer lines, and it really came to life.
It took a while to get it exactly right, but parts of it came quickly, too. All three of us are pretty adamant about making sure the song is right and not rushing it if it isn’t. When we got done, I know I felt like, lyrically, it was really special.
[There] never was a demo [for this song]. On the worktape, [Garth] wanted me to sing it. I still don’t know why, 'cause he runs circles around me on that song, but I did it anyway.
[Filming the "Dive Bar" music video] was some of the most fun I’ve ever had -- first and foremost, because the people I was getting to do it with are some of the nicest, most down-to-earth people in the biz. Second, I got to learn a new skill that I never thought I’d be so into. Now I love scuba! I remember being really amazed at how well we could hear the track underwater and how well Mike [Palmer] did on the drums. I know he was worn out after though!
Some of the stuff we used [in the music video] were things that were ruined in the [2010 Nashville] flood, so it was really cool to see them have a purpose again. Making something good out of something really bad is always a highlight.
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