Just before country-rockers Brantley Gilbert and Jelly Roll hit the road for their 2022 Son of a Sinners tour, they released their first-ever collaboration, “Son of the Dirty South.” Now, they’ve got something even bigger brewing in the studio.
While sitting down with Country Now, Gilbert boasted about his relationship with Jelly Roll, who he claims to be one of his “closest friends in the world now.” Since they have already proved that they mesh well together in their real lives and in their musical aspirations, Gilbert shared that they are “definitely” putting in the work to create more music together.
This time, their country/rock/hip-hop influences will likely come in the form of an album or an EP.
“We went and lived in the studio for about a week,” Brantley revealed. We’ve really got enough for an album, so I think right now we’re just trying to figure out whether or not it’s gonna be an EP or an album, but there’s definitely something coming.”
“This album that we put together, this EP that we put together, literally covers every base. I mean, we both went into our little bag of tricks across the board. So there’s a little bit of everything on it,” he continued, offering a sneak peek into what fans can expect from the project. “When you hear this project, it will blow your mind. I could play you one song and then play you another one, and you can say, in million years, do not ever put that on the same album.”
The “Heaven By Then” singer also took to social media recently to share a preview of a video he and Jelly Roll filmed together in “familiar territory.”
His caption read, “Filming something I can’t wait to share with y’all… And we just so happened to find ourselves in familiar territory 👮🏻♂️🚨🤣 Y’all stay tuned.”
While he may not remember exactly what led them to meet for the first time, Brentley was able to clearly recall the emotions he felt when he first heard just how much talent Jelly Roll has to offer.
“I had heard his music before, but he played me a song called ‘Fall in the Fall,’ and I didn’t know who it was. Then when he told me, I was like, oh crap, I hadn’t dug into that world in a minute, man,” Gilbert shared of the moment that made him take a closer look at Jelly Roll’s work.
As he sees Jelly Roll continue to break into the country music scene, Gilbert made note of the subculture he’s introducing to the industry with his background in rap, and ability to provide a fresh take on a soulful sound.
“I feel like Jelly Roll’s kind of getting that foot in the door, and kind of ushering in this whole movement that’s happening. And I do feel like there is some stuff that divides him from other acts, like the ability to rap the way he does and then have a vocal that’s not just recognizable and familiar, it’s recognizable and familiar in a great way. He’s got a really soulful voice, and a lot of times you don’t see people in the rap world that can transition over and be melodic like that.”
Gilbert also explained that the connection between him and Jelly Roll was almost instantaneous in one of their first in-person interactions.
“That is a relationship that developed organically, and we were friends before we wrote a song together. I felt that when I walked in the room and we shook hands,” he said. “We’re both a little rough around the edges and we both have a little bit of a past and people like us recognize each other. So that was that, we hit it off immediately.”
Gilbert has been able to find common ground with the “NEED A FAVOR,” singer, and with that deeper understanding, he commends Jelly Roll for his ability to pull himself out of a difficult time.
The rapper turned country-rocker was the youngest of four children who grew up with a mom that battled addiction and mental health struggles. He spent 12 years in and out of jail before realizing he wanted to make a change in his life and pour his heart into music.
“He went to prison and served his time and, the man came out with all guns blazing and you can’t help but respect that,” he added. “When somebody that’s been through some shit tells me about it, I listen a lot more than somebody telling me that they had a bad day. You had some bad years, you had a bad chapter in your life, you had a different upbringing than others, and you worked your way through all of those things to succeed and be here and be present. Especially in this day in time, I don’t feel like anybody can take that from him. They damn sure won’t in front of me.”
Jelly Roll has experienced a string of accomplishments recently, including earning a gold-certified No.1 song with “Son of a Sinner,” selling out numerous venues, making his Grand Ole Opry debut, and more.
“He’s an incredible businessman and the dude is stupid smart. He’s calculated, he’s really intentional about what he does, and he is not here on accident. He’s here uninvited and he’s here on purpose. That to me is admirable, especially kind of taking the road less travel,” Gilbert gushed of his friend.
While Jelly Roll has yet to share any plans for a headlining tour in 2023, he is slated to appear at several festivals this summer, including Tailgate N’ Tallboys Bloomington, Tailgate N’ Tallboys Clinton, TidalWave Music Festival, and more.
Beginning June 12, Brantley Gilbert will join Nickelback on the road for The Get Rollin’ Tour. The upcoming trek will include stops across North America in Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Nashville, and more before wrapping up on Wednesday, August 30 in Belmont Park, NY at UBS Arena.
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