Craig Campbell isn't coy when asked what took him so long to record and release "All My Friends Drink Beer," a song he's used to open live shows for nearly two years.

“I had this song. When I was with Broken Bow Records, they didn’t think it was that good of a song," the country veteran says. "And that’s one of the reasons we’re no longer together.”

As an independent artist, Campbell still has plenty of fans and friends, and many of them appear in the music video for "All My Friends Drink Beer," premiering exclusive on Taste of Country. Michael Ray, Randy Houser, Granger SmithThompson Square, Jaren Johnston from the Cadillac Three and many more found time in their quarantine schedule to crack a cold beer and record a few seconds singing the song. It's the kind of assignment you want to get right, so you can bet a few of his friends needed two, or even three, takes.

"All My Friends Drink Beer" is the second song from an upcoming project Campbell plans to release as an independent artist, but he's not sure when. “It’s still trial and error for me. I’ve never done this before,” he admits during a phone call with ToC.

But he's excited to be working again. It took nearly a year between initial conversations with his old label and the separation Campbell's team describes as amicable. He couldn't record in the meantime, and now he can't play live shows due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that figures to change soon. In three weeks (June 19-21), Campbell and Colt Ford will do a series of drive-in concerts called the Georgia Grown Summer Concert Series. Again, he's not sure what to expect.

"We said, ‘It’s gonna be awesome. We’re gonna crush it together or it’s gonna crash and burn but we’ll crash and burn together,'" he shares.

The concerts are born out of necessity. Like most artists, Campbell is trying to find creative ways to play and make money so he can keep his band and crew employed through 2020. Campbell and his wife (songwriter Mindy Ellis) have done alright until now, but it's getting worrisome.

“We’ve been OK, but now it’s like I’ve used what I had set aside for this situation. It’s definitely time to get back," he says.

It's time to get back to playing live music, and it's time to get back to record songs that sound like him — something he says at least one single ("See You Try") on BBR didn't do. "All My Friends Drink Beer" marks a new chapter for Campbell, one set in the Wild West. For the first time in a decade, he's calling all the shots.

“I think record labels get in the way of themselves as far as pulling those triggers or keeping you from pulling the trigger when they have not seen what we’ve seen," he says. The groupthink stops here.

Please Enjoy Country's 100 Best Drinking Songs Responsibly:

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