Taking place August 11 during Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the singers teamed up on Green’s traditionally-flavored current single, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died.” Paisley counts himself as a fan of the touching tribute to life in the nation’s heartland, and with one gracious gesture, helped his opening act earn a few thousand more believers.
“I’m in awe and I love your new song,” Paisley told the crowd during his headline set. “I thought I’d like to play it with you … and I wanna be a backup guitarist.”
“Just so y’all know, just in case you can’t tell from something like this,” Green replied from the massive stage, “this is a nobody from Alabama, playing a song I wrote about my two granddaddies with an idol of mine.”
The heartfelt ballad was written in honor of Green’s grandfathers, Lendon Bonds and Buford Green, built on a pure country sound and the tender drawl of Green’s voice. It’s out now as Green’s radio-polished new single, but took on the feel of a casual campfire singalong as he and Paisley delivered its chorus in unison.
“I wish even cars had truck beds / Every road was named Copperhead / And coolers never run out of cold Bud Light / I wish high school home teams never lost / And backroad-drinking kids never got caught / I wish the price of gas was low and cotton was high / I wish honky-tonks didn’t have no closing time / And I wish grandpas never died,” they sang.
Green has released four independent EPs and a handful of singles to country radio in his young career, including the No.1 breakout “There Was This Girl” in 2018. His debut album Different ‘Round Here comes out September 20, just before he wraps up duty as a supporting act on the North American leg of Paisley’s World Tour. He’ll headline his own Get That Man a Beer Tour through December. And starting in October, Paisley will head overseas for dates in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, England and Ireland.