Country superstar Brad Paisley dropped a brand-new song on Friday morning (June 11). “City of Music” is an ode to the dreamers who arrive in Nashville hoping to make it big.
“City of Music” follows the story of two hopeful artists who make their way to Music City: the “karaoke queen of Tyler, Texas” and the “second-string quarterback junior transfer learning to play guitar.” The two first encounter each other in one of those places that Nashville newcomers find day jobs: a cowboy boots store; after all, as the song explains, “Someone’s gotta tend the bars, someone’s gotta sell the boots / In the City of Music.”
The pair find themselves on a date that ends in a co-writing session (it’s more common than you might think!). This love story stays open-ended, though: As the story goes, “Maybe it’ll last forever, maybe only a week or two.”
The chorus, meanwhile, details the formula for finding your way in the “City of Music”: “Tell the truth, play some chords / Pay your dues and praise the Lord,” Paisley sings, finishing with an insider tip: “Tell the bouncer that you’re with the band in the City of Music.”
The truest lyric in the song, however, just might be this one: “Sometimes you write the songs, and sometimes the songs write you.” Paisley’s storytelling expertise and epic guitar skills are on full display throughout this mid-tempo track, which he concludes by admitting, “I am a pilgrim in this land / Mother Maybelle, take my hand,” name-checking Maybelle Carter, one of the original Carter Family members and the pioneer of the “Carter scratch” style of guitar-playing.
Paisley, Lee Thomas Miller and Ross Copperman co-wrote “City of Music.” Copperman co-produced it with Luke Wooten.
Paisley, who has been a fixture in the “City of Music” for years, is finally taking his show back on the road: Now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, he’ll be on tour this summer beginning in late June. On July 4, he’ll headline Nashville’s Fourth of July celebration.
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