Brantley Gilbert’s “What Happens in a Small Town” is a country-rock power ballad about a girl. Yep, that girl.
“The same one, and I’m married to her,” he tells Taste of Country. “That’s one of the great things about being in a relationship with a goodbye in it.”
Gilbert married Amber Cochran in 2015, after several years of on and off as he fought addiction and started his music career. “It’s easy to write those breakup songs when you know how it ends,” he admits, laughing.
Lindsay Ell is the song’s surprise vocalist and guitarist. Gilbert had never recorded a duet with a female before, and he thought of the “Criminal” singer first when the writing partners started to realize they might have a song that needed a second voice. She was all in immediately.