When Bradley Gaskin broke onto the country music scene with “Mr. Bartender,” he instantly catapulted to Top 40 success, earned spots on artist to watch lists, and stood center circle on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry. Though he’s kept busy since then, an 11-year slowdown from the spotlight has really allowed him to reposition his mission and return now with a fresh perspective, going full steam into his next chapter with his new single “Accidentally Drunk.” We had the incredible opportunity to check in with Bradley and talk with him about the new single, working with legendary producer Keith Stegall on his upcoming project, keeping the traditional sounds of country music prevalent in an ever-changing landscape of the genre, what playing the Opry stage means to him, and so much more!

(Interview by: Jeffrey Kurtis

1) Tell us a little bit about your brand new single “Accidentally Drunk.” 

This song is the perfect country song for me. It is exactly what country music is. The songs I grew up listening to by Jones, Whitley and Chesnutt were heartbreak ballads that rattled my bones and made my heart ache. We’ve all had someone we couldn’t get over which makes "Accidentally Drunk" so real. It's a universal experience to lose someone's love and become a bit unhinged by the sadness, which causes us to act in ways we can’t rationalize. Alcohol isn’t the answer, but for some of us, it's the only way we know how to deal with a goodbye from someone we can’t get over. We drown when we’re down, so this song is fitting for this kind of emotion.  

2) The song was co-written by Grammy-winner Ashley McBryde, multi-platinum songwriter and producer Justin Ebach, and Dan Smalley. When you’re choosing songs that best suit what you’re looking for style wise and lyrically, what was it about this song that made it stand out to you most? 

Some hearts won’t be honest about it, but I will. I’ve been here before, simple as that. It’s the cold hard truth. 

3) There’s a noticeable throwback flare that wraps around the song quite naturally. How important is to you that you deliver songs that uphold the foundational traditions of the genre as you step into this next chapter of your music? 

It is very important. Feelings put to words and music drive these kinds of songs. I’m a country music singer, all thanks to my radio heroes of the past. The traditional feel of the songs I grew up on is reflected in the musicality of “Accidentally Drunk”. Country songs are an avenue for storytelling and shared processing, so it’s easy for me to relay this heartache when I’m singing it. It hits my ears and heart right where it’s supposed to, so it comes out in a traditional delivery.  

4) Speaking of next chapter… “Accidently Drunk” is only one piece to the bigger picture that’s still to come. You’re releasing a new EP in 2024, your first release since 2011. Why did you feel that this song was the perfect lead to amp what’s coming soon? 

Keith Stegall sent me this song and after I heard it, I knew instantly I was going to record it. Everyone on my team, including my close family and friends that I played it for all had the same reaction, we all had a feeling it could be a single release. I'm looking to share even more of myself and my journey in my 2024 projects.  

5) What aspects about where you’re at in the current era of Bradley Gaskin will show up on the EP that perhaps the single doesn’t showcase? 

The new songs I’ve recorded all go together as a whole. Each one will tell a story, they’re all different but the same country music.  

6) You’re working with legendary producer Keith Stegall. What does he bring into the studio that’s really helped shape the overall sound you were going for in ways that might not have otherwise been there? 

Keith understands who I am as an artist, which is so important. He’s a country guy and so am I. When a producer and artist have the same love for a particular style of country music, it’s easy to capture that shared vision when writing, looking for songs and recording them.  

7) Though you’ve been releasing new music all along, this is really your first official foray back into the spotlight. Why now? What makes this the perfect time for your brand of country music to re-emerge? 

As a singer, songwriter and artist it’s good to take a break. Big Kenny of Big & Rich told me years ago, “If you can’t seem to catch your dreams, slow down. If it’s meant to be, your dreams and what you’ve prayed for will chase you.” I just feel like this is the case for me now. Music mogul John Rich also told me, “It’s only over when you stop. I thought I’d reached that point of stopping but what I didn’t realize is that I was only slowing down. This validated exactly what Big Kenny had said. Both of these guys were giving me advice that at the time I didn’t see. With this return, I’m full steam ahead, but this time with a new mindset.  

8) Many people remember you from your Top 40 hit, “Mr. Bartender,” and while you’ve slid behind the limelight a bit, you’ve certainly not slowed down. Your social media presence is through the roof! Through the trial and error of output on your social pages, what have you found to resonate most with your fans? 

I went back to creating music content for my social media accounts and fans. I really poured gas on what I already knew about myself. My songs and delivery style are simple, but sometimes simple is the answer. I remind myself not to overthink, just do what I do best. I focus on what I know and let the music speak for itself.  

9) You’ve played the hallowed stage of The Grand Ole Opry several times. Many artists have that goal highlighted on their resumes. Take us into those moments for you. What type of butterflies does standing in that circle give you, what have these moments meant to you, etc.  

First and foremost, performing at the Opry is the Heaven of all country music stages. The feelings and memories I have of being there several times can’t be explained in words, they are my most precious music memories. My grandpa told me years ago, before he passed away, that if I could ever play the Opry, that would make a statement. I hope sometime soon I can create a new Opry moment to add to what I’ve already experienced there.  

10) We always like to end with this one since so many aspiring artists and songwriters read our site, so what one piece of advice can you offer to someone who is just starting out and trying to break into the music industry? 

Just be yourself, nobody knows you but you. If no one gets you or understands your passion, who cares? If you do nothing but write, sing and perform for your own enjoyment, that’s okay. You’ll be happy either way. If you do reach a place of being a huge star, continue to be yourself. If people know your name, great. If they don’t, then don't stress it. Self-worth and doing what you love is all that matters. 

Country singer Eddy Raven once told me, “Fads fade, be you,” and that’s what I’ve always done. Also, find those people who believe in you as much as you do. Negative people will dilute your formula. The “no’s” sometimes only means “not yet”.  Create, write, sing and do it with feeling. Realness can’t be denied. Passion speaks, so scream with your talents, rear back and let your heart out. You’ll find that if you’re real, honest and true to yourself, you’ll make it easier for listeners to connect with you. I’m a singer, writer and a performer. Whether it’s in a large stage or your living room, just be yourself.  


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