Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight : George Birge

Artist Spotlight George Birge 1280x720

Sometimes the simplest of titles have the most captivating backstory. Just listen toGeorge Birge explain the origin of “Beer Beer, Truck Truck,” his surprisingly deep, ready-for-summer debut single.

Birge (rhymes with “merge”) was scrolling through the TikTok account he had justcreated when he came across a star of the platform poking fun at country music. Erynn Chambers, known to her three-quarter of a million followers as Rynnstar, joked that many country songs are just repetitious ditties about beer, trucks, and girls. To her credit, she had a point, but Birge was determined to prove to Rynnstar that in the right hands even the most mundane of phrases can inspire a great, multilayered song.

With that in mind, the Texas-born, Nashville-based songwriter grabbed his guitar and wrote “Beer Beer, Truck Truck,” an up-tempo sing-along that is about far more than those writing-room tropes. It’s about missing the one you love and wooing them to come back. “I know the city called you, go baby spread your wings/I’ll be here waiting on you, out here in the country,” Birge sings.

“The whole point was to say that, yeah, the country lifestyle may not be as flashy oras fast-paced as the city, but there’s more to it than meets the eye — and if you give me a chance, I’ll show you how good it can be,” Birge says. As the lyrics drive home, it’s not all “beer, beer/truck, truck/girls in them tight jeans.”

Produced by Ash Bowers, “Beer Beer, Truck Truck” blends the studio loops and effects that power country music’s modern-day hits with the traditional sounds that Birge heard growing up in Austin — his family are such George Strait fans that his mom jokes he was named after the Texas icon and not George Birge Sr.

The end result is both interesting and irresistible

Just two weeks after he posted “Beer Beer, Truck Truck” to TikTok, his video had accumulated nearly 3 million views and he grew his followers from less than 50 to 130,000. Best of all, it won over Rynnstar, who shared the song with her massive following. Birge credited her as co-writer.

“It was incredibly gratifying to see people saying, ‘I never listen to country music,but hearing this backstory and hearing how it came to life makes me a country music fan,’” he says. “Some said that’s what good songwriters can do — they can write a song out of literally anything. That made me feel really fulfilled, because that was my intention.”

Now signed to Barry Weiss’s RECORDS Nashville label, Birge is gearing up to release his self-titled debut EP on February 18 and build on the buzz surrounding “Beer Beer, Truck Truck” and new track, “Mind On You.” Despite the songs’s viral successes, it’s important to point out that George Birge isn’t a TikTok gimmick — he’s a dyed-in-the-wool songwriter with years of experience.

“I promised myself I was going to be true to the songs that I wanted to write and tothe stories I wanted to tell,” he says. Artists as diverse as neo-traditionalist Clay Walker and country rapper Colt Ford have taken notice: both have recorded his songs and Walker even released the Birge co-write “Need a Bar Sometimes” as his new single. (Birge has also written with rising star Matt Stell, Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus, and Chris Lane, among others.)

He credits his Austin upbringing with his gift for writing relatable lyrics and melodies. When he first formed a band and began playing bars in the city’s Sixth Street entertainment district, he sang his own originals, not covers. “I got so much joy and pleasure from trying to craft songs and build stories and create emotion that I was instantly hooked,” he says. “I always say I play live music so that I can write songs and get in the studio, because that’s where my passion is. I love that rush that you get when you find something that is magical.”

Along with “Beer Beer, Truck Truck” and “Mind On You,” Birge’s EP includes twomore songs he co-wrote — “Didn’t Think I’d Miss” and “Whiskey Side Of Me” — and one outside track by Thomas Archer, Michael Tyler, and Lalo Guzman that was too good to ignore. Titled “Good Reason to Go,” it’s a twangy heartbreaker about sticking around too long, be it in a relationship, a job, or a small town. “It’s a mistake a lot of us make and learn from,” Birge says. “I saw so many scenarios in my life when I heard that song.”

Birge reunited with his old friend Colt Ford to write “Mind On You,” along with Jaron Boyer and Michael Tyler. The group originally earmarked it for Jason Aldean, but couldn’t let it go. “It has a dark, sexy, mysterious vibe to it. And instrumentally, there are so many different sounds,” Birge says, “from acoustic guitars and mandolin to bouzouki. It’s a sonic experience.”

“Whiskey Side” is another Birge/Boyer/Tyler collaboration, with help fromplatinum artist and RECORDS Nashville labelmate, Matt Stell. A sad but empowering ballad, it’s about a guy who changes for an out-of-his-league lover and realizes he’s not being his true self. “The whiskey side of him,” Birge says.

And “Didn’t Think I’d Miss” is straight-up nostalgia, a classic country tale of piningfor things you may not have appreciated in the moment, like the rustic beauty of a back road or a sports jersey with your family name on the back. “It’s a big old world out there and we all want to go explore it, but sometimes you take for granted how good you got it when you’re growing up,” he says.

Birge doesn’t have that problem right now. With the success of both “Beer Beer,Truck Truck” and “Mind On You,” he’s savoring both the musical and pop-culture moment and looking ahead to the next story to tell. He loves defying people’s expectations and smiles at how far two simple words — beer and truck — have already taken him.

“I’m not a guy that’s too cool for school. I just want to tell a story in a fresh way, like I heard on country radio growing up,” Birge says. “And then sit down and have a beer with whoever’s listening.”

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