Zach Bryan, Bruce Springsteen Smooth Off the Hard Edges on New Song ‘Sandpaper’

The pair performed the song live at one of Bryan’s shows in Brooklyn earlier this year

Zach Bryan’s new album, The Great American Bar Scene, includes his song with Bruce Springsteen, “Sandpaper.” 

Bryan first teased “Sandpaper” earlier this year, playing the song pretty regularly during a run of dates on his Quittin’ Time tour back in March. Then, at his March 27 show in Brooklyn, Springsteen made a surprise appearance to perform the song with Bryan during the encore. (Springsteen then stayed on to help Bryan play his usual show-closer, “Revival,” with Maggie Rogers also returning after dueting “Dawns” with Bryan earlier in the gig.)

It’s possible Bryan turned the studio version of “Sandpaper” into a duet with Springsteen following the Brooklyn gig. At the time, a source familiar with Bryan’s concert logistics told Rolling Stone that Springsteen had flown back to Brooklyn in the midst of his own tour with the E Street Band, and that he’d learned “Sandpaper” on the day of the show. 

Along with Springsteen’s appearance on “Sandpaper,” The Great American Bar Scene features Bryan’s collaboration with John Mayer, “Better Days.” Bryan has also played that song a bunch on tour this year, with Mayer joining him for a live rendition in Los Angeles back in June. 


The Great American Bar Scene marks Bryan’s fifth studio album and follows his hit 2023 self-titled record. Bryan announced the LP last month and prior to its release shared a pair of songs, “Pink Skies” and “Purple Gas.” (The latter was originally written and performed by Noeline Hofmann, who duets it with Bryan on The Great American Bar Scene.)

Bryan has shows scheduled through the end of the year. His summer run wraps Aug. 26 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, after he’ll play a bunch of gigs in November and early December, wrapping with two nights in Brooklyn on Dec. 18 and 19.