At 25, David Lee Murphy’s “Dust on the Bottle” Gets Sweeter With Time

Can it be true that we’ve all been singing “Dust on the Bottle” for 25 years? Don’t let it fool you — David Lee Murphy’s classic hit reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart in October 1995, becoming a defining hit for the singer-songwriter, as well as for devoted listeners of ’90s country.

Produced by Tony Brown, “Dust on the Bottle” comes from Murphy’s first album for MCA Nashville, 1994’s Out With a Bang. During his time on the label, he also charted Top 10 hits with “Party Crowd,” “Every Time I Get Around You,” and “The Road You Leave Behind.”

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Following his time at that label, he returned to the chart in 2004 with “Loco,” and in 2018 with “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” with Kenny Chesney. His songwriting catalog also grew to include Jason Aldean’s “Big Green Tractor,” Jake Owen’s “Anywhere With You,” and Thompson Square’s “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” as well as numerous cuts by Chesney.

However, it’s “Dust on the Bottle” that seems to wind up in the set list of every honky-tonk stage in Nashville (and beyond). Even in the modern era, it’s streamed a million times a week.

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“I had written the ‘Dust on the Bottle’ title down on a notebook page and would see it every now and then when I thumbed through it,” Murphy said in a statement. “The morning of the second day recording my Out With a Bang album, I was in my kitchen drinking coffee. I picked up my guitar and just started the intro groove to the song. The first thing that popped into my head was the ‘Dust’ title.”

He continues, “I knew an old guy from my hometown, Creole Williams, who made homemade wine. The story took off and the song kinda just fell out. I called Tony after I finished it, laid the phone down on the kitchen table and played him the song. He said something like, ‘Man we gotta cut that!’ It was like magic when the band kicked it off. We all felt it. A cool thing about ‘Dust’ is no matter where we go play, the USA, Canada, Australia, even countries in Europe, people always recognize and relate to it. I’ll never get tired of singing it or the feeling that happens when we play it.”

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