Drinks After Work

Album: Drinks After Work (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Don't be misled by the title - the lead single from Toby Keith's seventeenth album is a love song, and not one of his drinking tunes like "Get My Drink On" or "Red Solo Cup." It finds Toby romancing his girl as he asks her out for a beverage and celebrates "havin' fun, two-for-one."
  • The song was penned by Luke Laird, Barry Dean and Natalie Hemby. The same Nashville trio also penned hit tunes for Little Big Town ("Pontoon") and Lady Antebellum ("Downtown").
  • Keith told Radio.com why he cut this tune: "Every once in a while I'll step out and do something crazy if it's a great song," he said. "In the last 20 years I've done that three or four times. I've found something that's way out of the norm, and I would jump out and do it. This just landed in my lap, and I didn't even know if we would get a good cut on it because it was so different. It just bloomed in the studio, and when we got done they said, 'You have to pick a single.' I had a deadline to meet, and I had a few things in front of me that I really liked, and I said, 'This one sounds like summertime to me, let's go with this.'"
  • Luke Laird, Barry Dean and Natalie Hemby wrote the song in December 2012. "We did this little week-long in town writers retreat," Laird recalled to Roughstock. "We're going to try and do it every year where Barry, Natalie and I got together, and just write for four or five days. For this particular song, I had this track pretty much mapped out with the guitar riffs and all that. Natalie had a title, 'Drinks After Work.' That wasn't the first thing I thought of when I heard this music, but Natalie's instinct is usually right. Barry is so good with lyrics and everything. It's just kind of the perfect combo."
  • Laird didn't originally see this as a Toby Keith song. "Natalie sang the demo ... not necessarily that we thought it was a girl's song," he told Roughstock. "It could be either, but I never thought, 'Hey ... let's pitch this to Toby Keith!' We wrote these four or five songs, and then we put a little band together and did a little show for the A&R people in town. It was just a different way for us to pitch songs. We played them live with a band. Mark Wright who runs Show Dog-Universal was there, and he asked my wife Beth if he could get a copy of that song and send it to Toby. He sent it to Toby, and Toby loved it and recorded it [laughs]! It was one that was really unexpected. Toby Keith has been around for a while and has done so well with his own songs that he's written, so to get a cut on him was extra special. That was cool."
  • The first time Keith heard the demo, he thought it was a really cool song, but was unsure if he could pull it off. He explained: "It's really out of the box for me and the first few times singing it in the studio I was really uncomfortable. You're reading off the sheet and trying to sing along with the band, but it wasn't where I normally go, vocally. I usually write everything and, if I go in with something I didn't write, I usually know we're going to have big success with it, but this one I didn't. We just wanted to cut it and see what happens. So this is another one that really bloomed. The scratch vocal after we cut it was just so-so. I got busy with other things, but they came back to me and said I still had to sing the thing and right there in the studio it just happened. Maybe I'd been away from it long enough, but we took a pretty good shot at it."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy TalentSongwriter Interviews

The frontman for one of Canada's most well-known punk rock bands talks about his Eddie Vedder encounter, Billy Talent's new album, and the importance of rock and roll.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

La La Brooks of The Crystals

La La Brooks of The CrystalsSong Writing

The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."

Cy Curnin of The Fixx

Cy Curnin of The FixxSongwriter Interviews

The man who brought us "Red Skies" and "Saved By Zero" is now an organic farmer in France.

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining Victims

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsSong Writing

Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.