Shelton told The Boot
how he and Lambert came to record this song: "That song was pitched to me by [my producer] Scott Hendricks; it's a Chris Stapleton song. I was sitting next to Miranda on my bus and I said, 'Listen, what do you think about this song?' She flipped out over it. She said, 'That could be a great duet.' It wasn't written as a duet; it was just from the guy's point of view. And she and I had made this pact that we don't do cheesy love duets, it's just not us. So if there was ever a song that was a perfect lyric for us and our personalities, it was 'Dragging the River.' I think it was meant to be for us, there's not been a song that I know of that she and I can sing in the same key, and for whatever reason that melody was perfect, that lyric was perfect, and I'm already hearing from fans that it's one of their favorites."