Ahead of the 47th Annual CMA Awards tonight (Nov. 6), Big Machine Label Group invited members of the music industry to preview tracks from Brantley Gilbert‘s upcoming The Valory Music Co. project. The BMLG offices were appropriately decked in 1930s theme, reflecting Gilbert’s music video, while guests dined on roasted autumn vegetables, baked spaghetti pie, and braised beef ribs.
“He’s upped himself vocally in the studio. He’s got such a powerful voice,” praised BMLG CEO Scott Borchetta, who was clearly in a great mood after receiving news that BMLG artists had already won two CMA trophies ahead of tonight’s (Nov. 6) awards.
“If he sleeps, he’s like Batman,” Gilbert said jokingly of Borchetta. “He sleeps upside down with his cell phone right next to him to answer it. Seriously, though, anytime I call, he answers.” Gilbert also noted that fans can expect an even harder edge from his new music.
The preview began with the bass-thumping Country-rock of “Bottoms Up,” Gilbert’s upcoming single, to be released Dec. 16. A video clip for the song featured a similar 1930s feel; the car from the video was brought to the preview party. “We shot the video to have a 1930s time period feel and I’m dressed like Al Capone,” said Gilbert. “I had gorgeous women helping me and they were my accomplices. That’s unrealistic, though. I ran around a long time ago, and the people that helped me out had fewer teeth,” he quipped. At least one thing is realistic in the video: the policeman featured in the clip. “He’s part of the police from my hometown and really did chase me down a few times,” said Gilbert.
While the album heavily incorporates hard rock sounds, it is also a highly personal for Gilbert, who also previewed the emotional ballad “I’m Gone,” co-written with Wendell Mobley. “Every record needs a good breakup song,” says Gilbert, who alluded that the song is about his breakup with Jana Kramer. “Some of you might put two and two together,” says Gilbert. “Before a certain relationship started, we wrote this song. After the relationship ended, I went back and tweaked a few words to make it more relevant. When my last relationship ended, I walked out the door and right into the studio,” said Gilbert. “I get there and this was the song we were recording. That was some interesting [stuff].” The timing made for a breakup-fueled, raw emotional vocal.
He also played “17 Again,” a song Borchetta said sounds like a future radio single. “We’ve all got memories of the first person you kissed, the first person you made out with, the first person you can just talk on the phone with for hours,” said Gilbert. “When you get into relationships and you are talking on the phone for hours and you are a grown man, it makes you feel like a teenager again.”
With a release date pending, Gilbert’s upcoming project will be his second for The Valory Music Co., following 2010’s Halfway To Heaven, which included the singles “Country Must Be Country Wide,” “Kick It In The Sticks,” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” and “More Than Miles,” among others.
A full track listing for the album can be viewed here.
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About the AuthorJessica Nicholson is a staff writer with MusicRow Enterprises. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine, TasteofCountry.com and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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