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George Birge Talks New Track “That Drink” With Country Legend Neal McCoy And Upcoming Album

George Birge: “There will not be a day that I take this for granted, because it has been a long road to get here.”

People say, “Never Meet Your Heroes,” but George Birge worked closely with his and was pleasantly surprised. 

The Texas native grew up idolizing hitmakers of the ‘90s, including country legend Neal McCoy. Just a few months ago, Birge sat down to do a songwriting exercise and decided to challenge himself by recreating McCoy’s classic 1994 hit, “Wink.” 

Birge’s primary motive was to pay homage to the singer-songwriters he grew up on. Therefore, the vocalist took his all-time favorite jam and altered the familiar hook. As a savvy songsmith, he even played around with the lyrics and changed McCoy’s “gimme that wink” to “give me that drink.” Throughout the tribute track, he gave some of the biggest stars in the genre – George Strait, Tim McGraw, David Lee Murphy, Brooks & Dunn, Mark Chesnutt, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tracy Byrd, and of course, McCoy shout-outs. 

“Nineties country is coming back. That’s what raised me,” Birge exclusively told CMT. “I was like, ‘Man, I’m not going to miss this boat.’ I wrote it with a bunch of Easter egg references – either lyrically or name dropping to all of these nineties country superstars or songs that I personally love.” 

Once Birge had a solid foundation, he turned to social media to tease the revamped old-school hit. While the unreleased song was raking in positive praise and going viral, he received a phone call from a blocked number. While many would leave the ring to voice mail, he nonchalantly picked up and heard McCoy on the other end. 

“Typically, if you get a call from a number that says ‘No Caller ID’ in this town, it’s probably somebody famous,” he explained. “I answered it, and it was Neal McCoy. He was like, ‘hey man, this is Neal McCoy…somebody sent me that song you had written, and I love it. I am in Wisconsin right now, and I’m on my way back to Texas on the bus. We’re going to pull through Nashville. I will sing on this song with you.’ My jaw hit the floor,” recalled the budding artist. 

A week later, he found himself recording “That Drink,” which was recently released (Sept. 23) with his main musical inspiration. Magic was made in the studio that day, as they created the ultimate Honky Tonk track destined to have fans two-stepping nationwide. Their Texas twangs flawlessly complement each other, while traditional country elements like the fiddle and steel guitar push the swing-worthy melody along. 

“We just felt like we had something special. It was great energy, and I loved seeing Neal's excitement about it,” said Birge. “It’s just absolutely taken off...people are tagging me in videos, listening to the song 20 times a day, and I’m getting all these messages on my phone about how excited people are about it. Although, to have the original artist that I look up to give his stamp of approval and feature on it with me is mind-blowing.” 

Birge continued to mention that McCoy has become more than a business partner, but a mentor. The award-winning artist best known for his chart-topping hit “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On,” platinum-certified album “No Doubt About It,” and for participating in 15 USO Tours – gave the ambitious musician valuable advice to hold onto throughout his flourishing career. 

“He has given me a ton of advice. Neal has had a career that I would dream about having,” stressed Birge. “This guy got everything figured out, so I picked his brain about how he managed to do that and how he treats his band, crew, and fans. He was like, ‘Man, even when we were on three tour busses and two semis, me and my band’s main goal was always to treat everybody with respect.’ To see his humbleness and all the success he’s had, was inspiring for me. I still text him asking questions and picking his brain. He’s a pretty resource to have,” he added while laughing. 

That Drink” serves as a sneak peek into his forthcoming collection. The fast-rising star said that he plans on making his self-titled debut EP, which includes his smash hit “Beer Beer, Truck Truck,” current single “Mind On You,” and “Whiskey Side,” into a full-length album. 

“I released this song [“That Drink”], and then we recorded four more as well. I’m working on rounding out a full album that will include my EP,” Birge confirmed. “Hopefully, early next year, we will have a finished album out for folks to listen to.” 

Before the end of the year, the promising new artist shared that he may roll out some singles to keep up the positive momentum. He also confessed that the upcoming tracklist would include a collaboration with a female in country music. 

“Neal is the only duet I have confirmed right now, but there are a couple on my wish list that I’m working on,” he hinted. “I have this really smokey, sexy heartbreak power song that I am looking for the right female to duet with. There are so many superstars out there putting out mind-blowing music. I’m just excited to have the opportunity to find somebody to put on this album, because the female side of country music hasn’t looked this strong in a long time.” 

As country music fans wait eagerly for the highly anticipated project, they can catch the country mainstay out on the road with labelmate and long-time friend Matt Stell on his Man Made Tour. For tickets and upcoming appearances, visit georgebirge.com.

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