With the growling guitars and crashing drums, Brantley Gilbert’s kind of blue collar country has always thrashed a little harder, dug a little deeper and reached a little farther. Given the South Georgia native’s passion for the open road, when NASCAR was looking for artists to team with vignettes about their drivers, the CMA Song of the Year nominee was top of mind. And with Gilbert in the studio, there was plenty of great music to choose from.
Ultimately “Not Like Us,” with it’s swaggering lead guitar blaze over a terse acoustic part that punched, was deemed the perfect song for NASCAR’s all-in kind of racing. As the chorus kicks in, telling all challengers their “Not like us / We’re on another level.. / Callin’ yall’s bluff / Show me what ya got / I’ll show you that you’re not like us / Wanna be, yeah, you know you wanna like us / but you’re never gonna be like us…”
“We wrote this out on the road, and it’s got that feel,” Gilbert says of the song’s serious throttle. “It’s funny how everybody wants to be – like the first verse says – a big dog, but when you get right down to it, wanting and being are two different things. When you look at NASCAR, what those drivers do, there isn’t anybody in the world like’em.”
As The New York Times has written, “Mr. Gilbert comes on like a revving monster-truck engine, backed by heavy rock guitar, but there’s a slyness to his singing. Beneath his boxy exterior, there’s an active intelligence about melody and texture,” while NPR captured, “the thing that really makes much of Gilbert’s music, feel as pugnacious as it does is the way that he sings… channeling stubborn small town resilience through his clenched drawl, airing aggression through his strenuous, sandpapered rasp and hinting at pent-up ferocity with surly, monosyllabic spoken asides. His performances are instantly recognizable, often confrontational and pack a punch.”
That punch will be driving a piece on 23-year old Chase Elliott. As Philip Metz, Managing Director, Entertainment Marketing & Music of NASCAR, says of the pairing, “This piece featuring Brantley Gilbert’s “Not Like Us” and NASCAR is part of our yearlong marketing campaign that tells the story of the NASCAR season through the lens of the drivers. We’re focusing on showcasing our brightest stars, the best tracks and putting it all to great music, giving fans more of what they want. This particular piece is focused on Chase Elliott and Talladega, as there’s no one better to explain to fans what they should expect to see at that track.”
After debuting Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 PM/ET as part of the “Monster Energy Cup Series Toyota Owners 400,” the piece focusing on the Dawsonville, Georgia-born driver will run through the big race at Talladega, broadcast April 28 at 2 PM on Fox. The clip will also run on all NASCAR digital and social platforms.
As Gilbert finalizes work on his upcoming project, “What Happens In A Small Town,” his wrenching duet with guitar sensation Lindsay Ell, lands at #25 with a bullet on MediaBase and leaps three spots to #23 with a bullet on Billboard. Both are produced by Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Megadeth, Midland, Kane Brown) and are available everywhere.