Luke Bryan traces his career milestones and creative inspirations—many of which were detailed in the exhibition “Luke Bryan: Dirt Road Diary”—during a 2015 interview with “Rolling Stone Country” senior editor Joseph Hudak, held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
The singer, songwriter, and CMA Entertainer of the Year talks about growing up in Georgia, listening to George Strait, Alabama, Ronnie Milsap, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, and others. “I used to moonwalk to the pencil sharpener in third grade,” Bryan jokes of his early dance moves. He recalls how later, covering songs like “Dixieland Delight” and “Fishin’ in the Dark” with his first band, Nyami Road, would get the bar crowds dancing.
Bryan’s dream of moving to Nashville to pursue a career in music was delayed for five years after his brother’s death. He marvels at how once he arrived and plugged into the songwriter scene on Music Row and began playing honky-tonks on Broadway, it felt like living in a country music dream.
“It seemed like around every corner, every night something amazing was happening,” Bryan says.
The singer describes the “pandemonium” that followed “Country Girl Shake It for Me” (co-written with Dallas Davidson), and how the success of a very different song—vulnerable ballad “Drink a Beer,” penned by Jim Beavers and Chris Stapleton—made him feel like he had room to stretch out and record more risky material.
The program also features a rare solo acoustic performance by Bryan, who shares the stories behind several of his hits, including “Strip It Down,” “Drunk On You,” “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” “Drink A Beer,” “We Rode in Trucks,” and “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” a quick collaboration with hit-maker Shane McAnally and Bryan’s long-time producer and co-writer Jeff Stevens.
Presented in support of the exhibition “Luke Bryan: Dirt Road Diary” (May 22, 2015, through November 8, 2015).
Find out more about our public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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