Dive Bar

Album: Fun (2019)
Charted: 78
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Songfacts®:

  • Garth Brooks teamed up with Blake Shelton for this rowdy bar room anthem where they sing about spending their summers in American dive bars.

    So fill your cup
    Raise it up
    Jump in and join the club
    And float this whiskey river reservoir
    We're gonna spend the weekend in the deep end of a dive bar


    Other drinking songs Brooks has recorded include his No Fences ballad "Friends In Low Places" and live favorite "Two Piña Coladas."
  • Brooks first worked with Shelton when he served as an adviser during Season 11 of The Voice back in 2016. A few years later, he co-wrote "Dive Bar" with Mitch Rossell and Bryan Kennedy. Brooks was inspired to ask Shelton to duet with him on the track after he saw him perform "God's Country" on the 2019 ACM Awards.
  • The song was released to country radio on June 18, 2019. The pair gave the song its live premiere the following day when Shelton joined Brooks to perform it at his show in Boise, Idaho.
  • Even though he co-wrote the song, the sound of the resulting track was not what Brooks expected. He recalled to Billboard: "My biggest shock in all of this is I think I know my voice and I think I know his, but there were several times I looked over at Matt, the engineer, when we were mixing it going, 'Is that him or me?'"
  • Shelton recalled to The Tennessean that he was hanging out with a turkey-hunting pal of his at his farm in Oklahoma when his manager texted him asking permission to pass along his phone number to Brooks. Shelton's answer was an immediate yes. Brooks called about 30 minutes later and said, "I've got this song I wrote. I wanted to see if I could send it over to you and you tell me what you think about it."

    Shelton was excited about the prospect hooking up with his hero; in fact, he was ready straight away to agree to work on any project with Brooks. "I'm going to tell you right now, even without hearing the song, I'm apt to say, 'Hell yes, I'll do it,'" he told the legendary country star.

    Brooks laughed and said, "You should at least hear the song."

    Shelton received "Dive Bar" later that night, and after listening to it four or five times, he thought it reminded him of Brooks' most defining works, such as "Friends In Low Places" and "Ain't Goin' Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)."

    "He just tapped back into that mid-'90s stuff when I was deciding I wanted to be a country singer and all I could imagine was being the next Garth Brooks," Shelton said. "He didn't need me on this, but I'm not going to tell him that."
  • The song's music video sees the two country stars literally taking a dive underwater. We then see them perform the song on a stage with a banner displaying Shelton's Nashville bar, Ole Red, in the background. The camera pans back at the end of the clip to show they are in fact at the bottom of a whiskey bottle sitting on the shelf of the Ole Red bar.
  • This was Brooks' first music video since "Midnight Sun" in 2008.
  • "Dive Bar" was #24 on the first Country chart of the 2020s, making Garth Brooks the first artist to appear on the tally in the '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s, and '20s. The star started his run in March 1989 with his first single, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)."
  • Mitch Rossell had previously contributed to two of Brooks' singles. He wrote 2017's "Ask Me How I Know" and co-penned 2018's "All Day Long" with the star and Kennedy.

    Rossell had the idea for this song in January 2018. He recalled to The Boot that he shared it with Kennedy and the pair worked on the tune a little before showing it to Brooks. It then "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."

    Rossell added that all three were adamant about not rushing the song and getting it exactly right. "When we got done, I know I felt like, lyrically, it was really special," he said.
  • You can see Rossell playing steel guitar behind Brooks and Shelton in the music video.

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