Toby Keith’s New Single Inspired by “People Who Disappear”

Somewhere out there is a guy who used to barbecue with Toby Keith. But while Toby may not remember the poor fellow’s name, he did use his memory of him as inspiration for his latest single, the barroom lament “Hope on the Rocks.”

“Years ago, the first house I lived in, there was a couple a little bit older than me that were married and lived three houses down. They’d work, and on Fridays and Saturdays they’d have a big barbecue and play cards and drink beer. Once in a while, I’d go down there,” Toby tells Country Weekly, recalling how eventually the couple divorced and the husband left town.

“I thought of all the people who come and go in your life, who don’t give you a two-week notice when they’re gone. And unless you’re really close to them, you just forget about them,” Toby says. “I started thinking of that, and how my dad would go to the café every morning in town. He had his buddies he sat with . . . and then just one day, they end up not showing up. You might ask what happened to them, but it’s not really a big loss to you, because it was just trivial chatter: football games, I like your new truck, how’s it going?”

More often than not, Toby believes those lost souls end up in a bar, spilling out their stories to a comforting bartender—the kind of character Toby plays in the hit new video for “Hope on the Rocks.”

“Most of the time, people who disappear, it’s because something has happened in their life. Growing up in bars and having a grandmother who owned one when I was a kid and having played bars my whole life, I know how good neighborhood bars can be,” he says. “The bartender is also a baby-sitter. You’re the brother, you’re the father, you’re the mentor, you’re the guru, the help line, the suicide hotline, you’re everything.”

Look for more from Toby and about the video for “Hope on the Rocks” in an upcoming issue of Country Weekly.

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