Brantley Gilbert is soaring up the charts with his current single, "What Happens In a Small Town," a duet with Lindsay Ell. The song was inspired by his own hometown, which is where he met and fell in love with his now-wife, Amber. But now, Gilbert reveals the extent he went to when he was trying to get Amber's attention, including building a big house!
"I'm from Jefferson, Georgia," Gilbert told PopCulture.com and other media. "I was born and raised there, graduated with 66 people. It's a tiny town. My wife graduated from Commerce High School, which is right across the river. It's literally like three or four miles from each other. But it was the most heated rivalry for high school football in the state of Georgia. You weren't supposed to date across the river. So we had like a little Romeo and Juliet thing going on. To the extent that we lived in Maysville, which is like neutral territory. It's right in between the two."
Gilbert had just started having some success, and was encouraged to do something worthwhile with his money, which is when he came up with the idea to build something Amber couldn't miss.
"I actually built that house on purpose, because she had to come by it when she came home from college when we weren't together," Gilbert recounted. "My business manager and my manager talked me into building a house. Honestly when they were asking me about my goals early on, I was like, 'Man, there's a piece of property that I love, and I'd love to buy it and put me a double wide on it and I'm good to go.'
"They talked me into building a house and I was like, 'Well if I'm going to do that, I'm going to make damn sure she can see it from the road when she goes every time she came home from school or went to her mom's house,'" he added. "It's three minutes from her mom's. So now we live in that house, which turns out great 'cause she's only three minutes from her mom."
Gilbert and Amber have had a lot of ups and downs on their rocky road to to wedded bliss, which is why "What Happens In a Small Town" is so meaningful to him.
"That song is really close to my heart," conceded the singer. "My wife and I have a long history. We actually were kind of off and on when we were really young, about five years. We went about five years without seeing or speaking to each other. So this song for me, even in the writing process, was like a lot of songs. It's about most of what I know about love is with my wife.
"It makes it incredibly close to my chest," he continued. "This song talks about riding around in this space, everything you see and everything you do, and how it reminds you of the love you had there. And I think all of us can relate to having the one that got away, you know, and for me that was my wife so it is close to the chest."
Photo Credit: Getty / Jeff Kravitz