In 2018, Devin Dawson opened for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill during the couple's Soul2Soul Tour. After one of his sets, Dawson approached McGraw during the country superstar's warmup.

"We'd hung out before ... but we hadn't really had a chance to go deep, I guess," Dawson recalls. "Somehow, the conversation quickly turned to, kind of, like, wisdom or advice, or just encouragement, from him -- from the superstar to the new kid on the block."

McGraw began telling Dawson about his journey to Nashville, and his initial struggles to find his footing in the industry. "He just needed some financial help to keep recording songs ... and labels didn't wanna touch him at that point; he wasn't published," Dawson says McGraw told him.

So, McGraw went to Brian Williams, a banker who established SunTrust Bank's music industry division in 1988 and moved the operation to Music Row in 1990. McGraw asked Williams for a loan to keep his career going, and offered his truck as collateral.

"Brian believed in him and took a shot," Dawson relays, "and we all know how that ended up."

McGraw hadn't ever turned the story into a song -- but Dawson "couldn't stop thinking about [it]." He wasted no time, and wrote it late that night.

Released Friday (Aug. 14), Dawson's new single "I Got a Truck" turns McGraw's real-life bet on himself into an inspiring, empowering anthem. Over a marching drumbeat, he tells the story of McGraw and Williams:

"Said the young man to the banker / As he pleaded his case / It’s the only thing I can trade you / But it’s worth more than its weight / Yeah, man, I swear I’m gonna pay you back one day / You can take that to the bank," Dawson sings. "Ain’t nothin’ but a four-wheel, hand-me-down rustbucket, doesn’t really look like much / Yeah, but when times get tough and you’re down in a rut, she gonna get you unstuck."

The studio version of "I Got a Truck" was produced by Jay Joyce, but before that, the lyrics became an end-of-tour gift for McGraw from Dawson. ("I can't buy this guy anything -- he has a f--king island ... but I can write [him] a song," the younger artist remembers thinking.)

The song earned McGraw's approval when he saw Dawson perform it live at a show in 2019. McGraw even mentioned at the time that he'd like to sing on it with Dawson, who's still hoping to make that happen sometime.

"I Got a Truck" is Dawson's first new release since his 2018 debut album, Dark Horse. More new songs are coming later this year, the artist says, to be followed by an EP in early 2021. A music video for the single is coming, too, featuring Dawson's own hand-me-down truck that got him to Nashville, a black 1999 Chevy Silverado.

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