Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton’s ‘Dive Bar’: Story Behind the Epic Collaboration

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Though they are both big names in the industry, Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton didn’t record a song together until 2019. The two powerhouses lent their vocals to “Dive Bar.”

The song recently appeared on Brooks 14th studio album “Fun.”

Co-writer Mitch Rossell remembers how the collaboration between the two artists came about. Brooks and Shelton previously worked together on “The Voice,” a musical competition. As many know, Shelton is a long-time judge on the show. And Brooks made an appearance as a guest advisor on the competition.

Brooks recruited Shelton for the song after watching him perform at the 2019 ACM Awards.

Mitch Rossell Convinced Garth Brooks to Take the Song

But Rossell was the one that introduced Brooks to a rough idea of the song. The two previously worked together on Brooks’ 2017 No. 1 single “Ask Me How I Know.”

For “Dive Bar,” Rossell reached out to both songwriter Bryan Kennedy and Brooks.

“I had this idea back in January of 2018,” Rossell told The Boot. “I told it to Bryan first, to see if it was as cool as I was hoping it was. He loved it, so we worked on it a little bit and then showed it to Garth. It 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.”

“It took a while to get it exactly right, but parts of it came quickly, too,” Rossell continued. “All three of us are pretty adamant about making sure the song is right and not rushing it if it isn’t. When we got done, I know I felt like, lyrically, it was really special.”

For the music video, Rossell said they incorporated items ruined in a 2010 flood in Nashville. The music video featured the singers playing at an underwater venue.

“[Filming the “Dive Bar” music video] was some of the most fun I’ve ever had,” Rossell said. “First and foremost, because the people I was getting to do it with are some of the nicest, most down-to-earth people in the biz. Second, I got to learn a new skill that I never thought I’d be so into. Now I love scuba! I remember being really amazed at how well we could hear the track underwater and how well Mike [Palmer] did on the drums. I know he was worn out after though.”