Q&A: Restless Road Talks ‘Bar Friends,’ Kane Brown Tour and the Grand Ole Opry
This is going to be Restless Road’s breakout year.
Photo Courtesy Restless Road
If you haven’t jumped on the Restless Road bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for?
The trio, comprised of Garrett Nichols, Zach Beeken, and Colton Pack, offers a fresh take on country music with their impeccable harmonies and captivating melodies. After releasing their debut EP in 2020, Restless Road continues to make waves with songs like “Took One Look at Her Momma” and their latest offering, “Bar Friends.”
Arriving just in time for summer, the upbeat track begs to be added to summer playlists as it celebrates friends and good times. (Give it a listen below.)
Restless Road recently brought “Bar Friends” to the Grand Ole Opry when they made their official Opry debut. Stepping onto the hallowed stage for the first time ever on Tuesday (June 22), the trio had the opportunity to perform their new single as well as “It Ain’t Easy” in front of the Opry crowd.
The group will bring their new music on the road this year as they’ve secured opening slot on Kane Brown’s Blessed & Free Tour, which launches in October.
Country Now recently caught up with Restless Road to chat about their Opry debut, “Bar Friends,” meeting their hero Randy Travis, and much more. Check out our exclusive Q&A below.
Congrats on making your Opry debut! How does it feel to have a life-long dream come true?
Zach – I remember being 18 and going on a tour of The Grand Ole Opry – never did I think 8 years later I would get to step into that circle myself. I really am living the dream.
Garrett – It’s such an honor. All of our Country Music heroes have stood on that stage at one time. To be invited to play The Opry feels like a scene out of a movie.
Colton – It’s hard to even put into words what this means. For as long as I can remember all I’ve ever wanted to do was play The Opry. It’s going to be a dream come true.
What was going through your mind when Kane Brown surprised you with the news?
Zach – I thought Kane was pulling one over on us! I really didn’t believe him at first but shortly after it set in, I could feel the tears coming.
Garrett – I honestly couldn’t believe it. I think I was mostly in shock trying to process what he was telling us!
Colton – I literally broke down and cried. I couldn’t believe that we were going to get to play The Opry.
Do you have any favorite Opry memories? Have you ever visited as a fan?
Zach – I have seen Vince Gill play at The Opry and got to shake his hand – he was incredible!!
Garrett – I had never been before but it was something I always wanted to do. The history of the Grand Ole Opry is just amazing. Seeing and hearing all the stories about your favorite artists was super inspiring.
Colton – I’ve watched many shows but some of my favorite memories came from watching Little Jimmy Dickens and hearing his jokes and stories he would tell. He was always a big Opry inspiration to me being from West Virginia.
“Bar Friends” is such a fun song! How did this song make its way to you?
Zach – We were hanging out in the kitchen and drinking some beers and our buddy played us this song. We flipped out right away and we were singing along by the second chorus!! We knew right away this song was for us!
Garrett – It was played for us by some of our incredibly talented songwriter friends here in Nashville. Once we heard it, we knew we had to record it.
Colton – We were hanging out and it was played for us and immediately we knew we had to cut it!
When did you ultimately decide that you wanted to cut the song?
Zach – Right after hearing it!! It felt so positive and anthemic and we felt like it had a message we wanted to share with as many of our fans and country music listeners as possible!
Garrett – It was the perfect song for us to cut because it’s so down to earth and relatable. Everyone has many types of friends, but your “Bar Friends” are the ones you always call on the weekend when you want to have a good time!
Colton – I think we immediately knew that we wanted to cut this song from the first time we heard it.
It’s definitely going to be a fun moment during your live show! How excited are you to go on tour with Kane this fall?
Zach – We couldn’t be anymore ready! It feels even more exciting than last year because our fan base has grown so much, and we have new music out this time.
Garrett – I am very excited. We’ve been working really hard this past year writing and perfecting our live show. To meet all the people who have been supporting us will be incredible.
Colton – Incredibly excited we are going to be full band this year so it’s going amazing to get back out there and we can’t wait to meet all the new fans we’ve made.
What are you doing to prepare for tour after being off the road for so long?
Zach – We’ve locked ourselves up for weeks rehearsing and we are constantly plotting how the three of us can make the show as exciting as possible. We want there to be a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy.
Garrett – We’re really working hard on our live show. After this past year people haven’t seen music performed live in a while. We want people to show up and have the time of their lives at our concert!
Colton – We just got finished with rehearsals, so we were able to shake off the rust. We worked really hard on this set and I think people are going to have an awesome time at our shows!
I saw that Randy Travis recently surprised you while you were covering his song at the Ryman. What was that like?
Zach – My soul left my body for a moment [laughs]. I never expected that to happen and I’m such a huge fan of Randy, so it was a dream come true. It is so motivating and reassuring to have one of your biggest heroes believe in you.
Garrett – I couldn’t believe my eyes. Randy Travis was a huge part of why we all fell in love with Country Music and started singing. When he surprised us, it was a very special full circle moment.
Colton – It was unbelievable, and we were all in shock. He’s been such an inspiration to me he was one of the big reasons I wanted to pursue country music. So, to meet him was crazy!
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Can you talk about the influence he’s had on your career?
Zach – I always considered Randy on my mount Rushmore of country singers. When I was 15 years old, I would mimic his voice and style all day. I would search YouTube and find as many performances of his as I could and learn as much as I could.
Garrett – Growing up, I always thought Randy was one of the coolest live performers. I would watch him on stage to see how delivered the message of his songs.
Colton – I grew up singing in church so Randy had a lot of songs that crossed over into both sides. I fell in love with his music and his story telling at an early age.
You’ve really embraced TikTok – did you ever imagine that your videos would take off the way they have?
Zach – At the beginning we were frustrated because we didn’t know what to post! But just like anything else we do we just kept going and going and eventually our videos really started connecting with fans – now we are hooked!!
Garrett – Honestly, we started Tik Tok this past year to connect with our fans, and it quickly became a way for our fans and supporters to get to know us on a more personal level.
Colton – When we first started it was a struggle to get anything going. I wasn’t for sure if we were ever going to get a video to go viral. Then once we did it just started happening so fast it was like we grew overnight.
Are you working on a collection of music right now? If so, what can fans expect from that?
Zach – Yes!! These new Restless Road songs are going to make people laugh, cry, and head bang!
Garrett – We’re always writing and creating music. We have a lot of new music on the way, and we can’t wait to share it with our fans.
Colton – We are! Fans can definitely expect new stuff from Restless Road rolling out over the summer!
Fans can keep up with Restless Road on Instagram.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.