Brantley Gilbert Didn't Realize He Wanted To Work With Blake Shelton

By Kelly Fisher

November 8, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of The Valory Music Co. / Warner Music Nashville

Brantley Gilbert never realized how much he wanted to collaborate with Blake Shelton and Vince Gilluntil he finally got the opportunity.

Gilbert recently announced that he’s getting ready to release a new song featuring the two country stars, “Heaven By Then,” which is due out on Thursday (November 10). Gilbert reflected on the story behind the song — which he wrote with HARDY, Hunter Phelps, Randy Montana, Brock Berryhill, and cousins Josh and Taylor Phillips — and crossing off a major bucket list item he didn’t know he had:

“It was a song that kinda came out of a conversation, and a guitar ended up in Hardy’s lap, and that’s usually a really good sign that something’s about to turn into somethin’ special, so … To have Blake and Vince on it is kind of a bucket list thing that I didn’t know was on my bucket list. Like these are two guys that I look up to, and they’re also two legends in country music. To have them on this song in particular, I just feel like they gave it a voice that I didn’t have, and just made it that much more special.”

Gilbert added, in a statement shared by his record label, that the group wrote “Heaven By Then” around 3 or 4 a.m., while on a writing retreat in Texas. Soon after Gilbert announced “Heaven By Then,” he revealed that the song is part of his upcoming album, So Help Me God. The 10-track project is Gilbert’s first album in three years, and it’s one that Gilbert approached a bit differently than he approached his previous albums. He said, per his record label:

“In the past, you know, my albums are almost direct reflections and direct chapters of my life. Whatever I’d gone through since I wrote the last record made its way into the new album. This one, not that that doesn’t exist at all, that’s still there. It’s gonna reflect my life and kind of what I’ve seen and dealt with since the last album was out. But I do feel like this album is more of just a mix of great songs. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to sit down with some of the best writers in Nashville and some of the best writers in the country, and I feel like we’ve written some pretty good stuff. And we went through on this one and sonically we really just tried to put songs that sounded good together, but also songs that covered like a wide variety of genre influences. You know, you’ll hear a song that’s a straight rock song, then it’ll bounce over to ‘Son of the Dirty South’ with Jelly Roll where he’s uhh … We won’t call it rapping, we’ll call it talking fast, like Charlie Daniels did on ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia.’ That seems to offend people less. So, there’s a lot of different songs, a lot of different songwritin’ styles on it, and we’re super excited about this album.“
Brantley GilbertBlake Shelton
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