Ernest And Lainey Wilson Team Up For Duet Of Good Old Fashioned Country Heartbreaker, “Would If I Could”

Ernest Lainey Wilson country music
Erick Frost/Delaney Royer

A good old fashioned country heartbreaker.

It simply doesn’t get any better than that…

Ernest and Lainey Wilson teamed up to record a duet of “Would If I Could,” which is included on Ern’s new album Nashville, Tennessee that just came out this past Friday. With a very old school production and perfectly sad lyrics, it’s easily one of my favorites from the 26-song album.

Originally written in 1996 by two of the all-time great country music songwriters Dean Dillon and Skip Ewing, it was somehow their only writing collaboration together, and Dean told Lost & Found Radio with Lori McKenna a while back that he always knew it was a great song that for whatever reason just got tossed aside like so many unfortunately do:

“Skip and I had never written before, I don’t know who had the melody or who had the idea, but when we finished, I thought we had a great song.

There was more to it than a lot of other stuff I’ve written, but for whatever reason, and you know this yourself, it happens a lot. They just get pitched a couple times and that’s it.

You never hear about them again. And then somebody somewhere dug this out of the trash can somewhere.”

Lainey recently covered it solo for a special Apple Music Sessions feature, and I was obsessed from the very first time I heard it. So when Ernest announced that they were turning it into a duet for this project, I knew it would be special because it’s such a timeless and beautiful song.

With a melody that’s stood the test of time for almost 30 years, Ernest and Lainey bring a fresh sound with their modern vocals, which shine as they sing about heartbreak and knowing when it’s time to let go of a relationship… even if you’d rather do anything else.

Ernest says the album as a whole is an attempt to honor the songwriting and storytelling that makes country music so unique and special, and I can honestly say that with this duet in particular, he certainly did just that:

“I was born and raised in Nashville. I love this city, it’s the country music capital of the world, and this album is a positive affirmation in the name of country music.

That country at its core, the songwriting and storytelling, is popular again.”

It sounds like it could be playing at an old hole in the wall honky tonk in 1974, and I would do anything to hear it as a country radio single in 2024 (though that might still be a bit of a long shot, a girl can dream…). These kinds of songs are what set country apart from every other genre, and it’s refreshing to hear something like this coming out in 2024, even if it was written over 25 years ago.

If sad country songs make you as happy as they make me, go ahead and make space on your playlist for your new favorite song:

And my other favorite is still Ernest’s duet with Lukas Nelson called “Why Dallas,” which is also part of the Nashville, Tennessee tracklist:


1. “I Went To College / I Went To Jail (feat. Jelly Roll)” (Ernest Keith Smith, Chandler Paul Walters, Rivers Rutherford, Luke Bryan)
2. “Ain’t As Easy” (Ernest Keith Smith, Dean Dillon, Jessie Jo Dillon, Chandler Paul Walters)
3. “Why Dallas (feat. Lukas Nelson)” (Ernest Keith Smith, Chandler Paul Walters, Grady Block, Jordan Merrigan, Lukas Nelson)
4. “One More Heartache” (Ernest Keith Smith, Chandler Paul Walters, Jessie Jo Dillon, Dean Dillon)
5. “Hangin’ On (feat. Morgan Wallen)” (Ernest Keith Smith, Grady Block, Rhys Rutherford, Jacob Durrett, Rafe Tenpenny)
6. “Did It For The Story” (Ernest Keith Smith, John Byron, Ryan Vojtesak, Blake Pendergrass)
7. “How’d We Get Here” (Ernest Keith Smith)
8. “Never Said I Love You” (Ernest Keith Smith, Chandler Paul Walters)
9. “Would If I Could (feat. Lainey Wilson)” (Dean Dillon, Donald Ewing II)
10. “Honkytonk Fairytale” (Ernest Keith Smith, Rafe Tenpenny, Dallas Wilson, Brad Clawson)
11. “Smokin’ Gun” (Ernest Keith Smith, Rhys Rutherford, Grady Block, Ryan Vojtesak, Blake Pendergrass)
12. “Twinkle Twinkle (Live At Fenway Park) [feat. Ryman Saint]” (Jane Taylor)
13. “Life Goes On” (Ernest Keith Smith, Ashley Gorley, Ryan Vojtesak)
14. “If You Don’t Know By Now” (Clint Daniels, Dale Dodson)
15. “You Don’t Have To Die” (Clint Ingersoll, Chris Stapleton)
16. “Redneck Sh*ttt” (Ernest Keith Smith, Mark Holman, Nicolle Galyon)
17. “Small Town Goes” (Ernest Keith Smith, Grady Block, Cody Lohden, Ryan Vojtesak, Chandler Paul Walters)
18. “Kiss Of Death” (Ernest Keith Smith, Andy Albert, Ryan Vojtesak)
19. “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” (John Clayton Mayer)
20. “Ain’t Too Late” (Ernest Keith Smith, Grady Block, Chandler Paul Walters, Jordan Merrigan, Cody Lohden)
21. “Sayin’ You Love Me” (Ernest Keith Smith, Mark Holman, James McNair)
22. “Summertime Flies” (Ernest Keith Smith, Rafe Tenpenny, Grady Block, Jacob Durrett, Ross Portaro)
23. “Ain’t Right Ain’t Wrong” (Ernest Keith Smith, Rhys Rutherford, Ryan Vojtesak)
24. “Creep (feat. HARDY)” (Colin Greenwood, Jonathan Greenwood, Albert Hammond, Michael Hazlewood, Edward O’Brien, Philip Selway, Thomas Yorke)
25. “Bars On My Heart” (Ernest Keith Smith, Mark Holman, Nicolle Galyon)
26. “Dollar To Cash” (Ernest Keith Smith, Grady Block, Rafe Tenpenny, Brett Tyler)

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock