Thursday, February 18, 2021
– To say the last year has been different for Luke Bryan would be an understatement.
For starters, he was going to put out his latest album, " Born Here Live Here Die Here" last April, he said during the Country Radio Seminar interview session.
"It was such as stressful time for everybody," he said. "We didn't know what we had on our hands at the time. Putting the album out didn't seem like the thing to do. I had recorded had some extra songs that I loved, but when we put 'Born Here' out in August," he said. "There were still three or four songs that I'd love to put on there. And then there were some songs I was writing during quarantine."
The result is a deluxe version of the disc coming out the deluxe version April 9 with six new songs.
"I know a lot of people are out there doing them these days, and it seems like a great thing in the business," he said.
One of the beauties of the music business these days is the ability to cut songs in the studio when you want, Bryan said.
","If you write something you love and you feel passionate...you can cut it," he said. "It's fun to be in that position where you something, cut it, and you and your record label can decide (to release it)," he said.
The veteran singer lamented the difficulty for new artists dealing with Covid. "When I look at the younger artists and see how difficult it is for them, it'd be idiotic for me to complain about (dealing with Covid). "My heart is really heavy and burdened by the new artists, the younger artist, their labels probably goes to them and say. 'we have to wait until next year.'"
With the album set for release last year, Bryan said he also was going to support the release with a tour. "Last year, I really had my tour and everything was really really teed up," Bryan said with regret.
While not his original intent, Bryan made the most of his time off from touring by spending more time with family, going on bucket list trips, including West Coast fishing trips.
Bryan, of course, longs to get back on the road. "it's a living breathing leviathan,"he said of touring plans."Obviously, you've (got to consider) the number of infection rates and the vaccination numbers and how that's going."
"The core of it, you got to really follow, trust the science that you're trusting," he said. "When I start touring, it will be thought out to every I dotted and every t crossed because it's all (done) with large companies. As soon as we're all on the same page...you can't fire up the trucks and put 4,000 people in a 14,000 arena."
"It'll be a good day," he said of touring. "It will certainly be happy."
Bryan, 44, talked about the success he enjoyed earlier in his career with his Spring Break gigs in Panama City, Fla. He ended up releasing six Spring Break albums.
"It was methodical controlled naiveness, but at the core of it all, it started with the idea to get fans more music. That was one of the main things," said Bryan. He put a chunk of EPs with light-hearted themes. "'Sorority Girls' or 'Take My Drunk Ass Home', we knew that was a stretch for country radio. From top to bottom, they were probably not world class songs, but they were fun."
"I was able to build that little aspect of that career, and obviously build my radio hits and stuff like that," he said.
Bryan expressed shock about the success that the songs engendered with the public. The numbers staggered Bryan. "The spring break thing, we kind of took what the audience gave us," he said. "When we put some of these tings out on iTunes, we (knew) we were onto something."
"The next year we were able to get out in front of it and market it," he said.
Bryan told a humorous story about 'Country Girl' (Shake It For Me)", his 2011 hit. "'Country Girl' was maybe my fourth or fifth single, maybe sixth. I...was having success...it was always that situation that add day was stressful." Add day is when reports are in from radio stations and whether they are playing the song.
Bryan's father wasn't so enamored of the song, however.
"My dad drove up and I was playing up in Louisville. "We had just singled...and my dad said, 'I don't know why you singled this." We were playing Louisville's football/baseballs stadium, and we were playing the state fair. I rolled in, and all of the radio guys are there, and they're 'dude, I've never seen" reaction like this.
The place was packed with about 25,000 fans, according to Bryan. ""We just thought we were going into like a 15,000 state fair."
"Well son, my picked the next damn right single," his father said to him after the show.
At the end of the interview, Bryan received the CRS Artist Humanitarian Award after a list of charities he has a helped were named.
CRS/Country Radio Broadcasters Board President Kurt Johnson, who conducted the interview, said, "Luke is a big star with a bigger heart. From his earliest days to as recently as Super Bowl LV, he's leveraged his influence for good and helped songwriters, farmers, children, small businesses—people in so many different walks of life that Luke Bryan's philanthropic work has touched. We're so proud to honor him with this much-deserved award."