Story Behind the Song: Dierks Bentley ft. Hardy and Breland, ‘Beers on Me’
Dierks Bentley’s latest hit “Beers on Me,” featuring Hardy and Breland began as a promotional idea that turned into a song. The superstar singer was writing with some of his frequent collaborators in Colorado when he had the idea to gift each fan a free beer during his upcoming tour. The concept became even more elevated when Bentley came across up-and-coming country trap artist, Breland, in an article in the local alt-weekly Nashville Scene, and was so awestruck by his talent that he picked up the phone and asked Breland if he’d be willing to collaborate on “Beers on Me.” Not even 24 hours later, Breland was in the studio working his magic on the track that’s now climbing up the Top 20 on the country charts. Below, Bentley shares the story behind “Beers on Me," in his own words.
"I wrote that song out in Colorado with Hardy and a couple other great songwriters. Luke Dick was there, Ashley Gorley and Ross Copperman, so a lot of fun. We were doing a retreat where we were gonna split up and write songs separately, but we were like, ‘Hey, let's just all write together.’ So we spent three days, just the five of us, all writing together and that song came out of it. And I just loved the idea of that, because that's what I thought it'd be fun to do for my fans; you get a ticket to the show and then you also get a free beer coupon. I was going to pay for that out of my pocket, and so I was like, ‘This is such a great song idea, let’s go with this,’ we wrote it and then I had Hardy come in and sing on it.
"I've told this story a few times now, but I was in Sound Emporium taking a break reading the Nashville Scene and I came across this article on Breland and I didn't know anything about him at all. My manager, Mary [Hilliard Harrington] had mentioned him before when I was living in Colorado completely off the grid. She's like, ‘Here's some things that are happening back here you should probably be aware of. There's this kid Breland people love.’ So I read this article about him and I was like, ‘Wow, I just love this kid. He's great. Who is this guy?’ So I got his number, texted him. He came in the studio the next day. [It's] just this crazy story because I played him the third verse that I wanted him to sing on and he said, ‘Hey, do you mind if I maybe re-write it a little bit?’ And I was like, ‘No, go ahead.’ So he just took that verse.
"We played the track over and over again and he just started pulling things out of the air, laughing to himself, messing with his hair and we're like, ‘What is he doing?’ and writing stuff on his phone. It was just like watching a mad scientist, and 25 minutes later, he's like, ‘Can I play you what I wrote?’ and he plays his verse. This isn't a song that's going be in the Hall of Fame, but what he wrote was so well written. I feel like the rest of us have been painting with six colors and he was using a paint set that had 120 different colors to draw from.
"In that little verse, he just painted such a beautiful picture, and it's funny because me and the other guys that are producing the record really didn't even know what he was talking about when he first sang it, but we knew it was great. ‘I like my drinks like my roof on the house,’ that line, what does that mean? We're like, ‘Oh my gosh, he likes free drinks like his roof on the house.’ And ‘buckets for a Lincoln,’ I had to figure out. Was that like a Lincoln town car? What's he talking about? Oh, buckets of beer for $5. He really, as all great songwriters do, [uses] a lot of metaphors, analogies to create a bigger picture than just the one line can do on its own.
So [I] love Breland [and was] so excited he was on the song and getting a chance to have him out on the road with us this year [on the Beers on Me Tour] and come out there and do that song and ‘My Truck’ and introduce him to not only new audiences, new stages, but new states. A lot of those places we went he'd never even been before, so that was an honor for me. And for that reason alone, I'm really excited, and for many reasons, that song's a single and that I got a chance to be part of introducing him to a larger audience."
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