"She's awesome," Gilbert boasted to PopCulture.com and other media. "We bumped into each other, but the first time we ever met and I heard her play was when [my wife] Amber and I got back together."
Gilbert goes on to recall going out with Amber and a few family members, to a bar where Ell was playing, where Gilbert saw firsthand how talented Ell was, both vocally and with her guitar.
"My youngest brother-in-law fell in love with her so I've heard nothing about her since Amber and I got back together. I gotta keep an eye on him," Gilbert said with a laugh. "I always remember the way she played and man ... what you see is what you get. She's so genuine. When everybody around her wants good things to happen for her and have the same things to say about her, it solidifies the notion that she is the whole deal. She's not just a pretty face."
"What Happens in a Small Town" was the last song Gilbert wrote for his upcoming album, and he knew right away it sounded like a duet. Still, it was his producer, Scott Borchetta, who had the idea to pair Gilbert and Ell for the single.
"It sounded like a duet from the beginning and it stayed that way all the way through it," Gilbert recalled. "After we finished the writing on it, you go in and who's the right match to do the duet? ... It was my first male, female duet and had to be right. I'm kind of obsessive, compulsive about everything. A lot of thought went into it and we looked at the genre crossover ourselves and I was talking to Scott one day and he brought Lindsay's name up and it just clicked."
Not that it was all easy for Gilbert. The married father of one wasn't entirely comfortable singing a romantic song with another woman, but Ell put him completely at ease.
"I think the most stressful part about it was being a married man and doing a duet with another woman," Gilbert admitted. "We have a pretty old school home life and marriage and I didn't know how to approach that. One of the many awesome things about working with Lindsay was that she was super respectful throughout the whole process. It was just comfortable. It was super professional, and there was no pressure working with Lindsay at all."0comments
Download "What Happens in a Small Town" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: BMLG/Joseph Llanes