In 2017, Dustin Lynch had a
career-making hit with "Small Town Boy," a platinum-selling
single that sat atop Billboard's Country Airplay chart for a month.
The song and another chart-topping single, "Seein' Red," were
released in advance of Lynch's third album, Current Mood.
The album hit No. 2 on the Billboard Country Album chart when it was
released last September and stayed on the charts for a year after
its release. Lynch's latest single, the non-album "Good Girl,"
has been steadily climbing the airplay chart since its release in
May (it recently hit its highest mark yet on
Billboard's Country Music charts,
ranking No. 8) and he has been playing to more people than ever on
What's more, this past September, Lynch was inducted into the Grand Ole
"It's been a great year, no doubt about it," Lynch says. "It comes from
working hard and setting goals, meeting goals. But I think it's also
(about) putting out the right music at the right time."
After landing the main support slots on tours headlined by Brad
Paisley, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban and Florida Georgia Line,
Lynch spent the summer playing festivals and doing headlining dates.
He co-headed a run with Cole Swindell. And his Very Hot
Summer Tour with Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins and Russell
Dickerson begins in late May, finding its way to Atlanta in
The "co-headlining" status meant Lynch has more time on stage than the
45-minute slots he does as a support act. While getting the chance
to introduce himself to fans of a bigger act was a great opportunity
for Lynch, the shorter sets somewhat limited the amount of songs he
could fit into those shows.
"We've had enough hits that the majority
of the time we're up there is playing hits," he says of the support
slots. "We (could) introduce a couple new songs, but you've got to
play the hits."
On the current tour dates, Lynch should be able to incorporate at least a
couple of album tracks from Current Mood and his two previous
studio albums into his show. The songs on the album have been almost
universally seen as the best Lynch has recorded, connecting with
listeners more directly and personally than his previous efforts.
"That comes with my growth as a songwriter, my growth even as a person,
living a little bit," says Lynch, who has seven co-writing credits
on Current Mood. "Life has changed, relationships have
happened and I've gotten more comfortable as an artist. One thing I
finally figured out is, if I've felt it, if I've lived it, there's
no reason to be afraid to talk about it - everybody else has, too.
"'What I've learned is when I've let somebody in too much, too close,
that's where the magic happens. That (realization) opened me up as a
Lynch's progression as a songwriter
has been just one aspect of his overall professional growth spurt,
as he's gone from promising upstart to consistent hitmaker.
Dustin Lynch's Official Music
Dustin Lynch Live at the
"Small Town Boy"
It's a run that began when he
released his debut single, "Cowboys and Angels," in early
Later in 2012, Lynch's self-titled debut album hit the top of the Country
album chart and he was off, following a now-standard path for
Country artists - playing club and fair shows, releasing singles and
albums, landing support slots on major tours, releasing more music,
getting main support slots and playing bigger headlining shows.
Following that path can bring an
artist closer to the Country's top tier. But Lynch says if it was
that automatic, everyone would do it. He and other aspirants have
learned to find a way to connect with audiences, first on the radio
(via the songs themselves), then in person through performance.
What makes that happen?
"It's being comfortable and
confident," Lynch says. "I learned a lot about that from watching
Luke Bryan (on tour). I watched that guy every night have fun, where
it's cool and exciting and not too choreographed. If you feel like
dancing with somebody, do it - don't worry about what you look like.
That's what it's about, being comfortable and making that connection
so that every concert is like a first date."
So how does he keep that going show after show?
"It's about confidence, repetition and dialing in the pacing," Lynch
That sounds like something an athlete would say about preparing for a
game, which is not surprising given that Lynch played golf at
Nashville's Lipscomb University before beginning his musical career.
"There's no doubt about that," Lynch says of the athletic comparison.
"There's a lot of similarity. You see a lot of college athletes get
into the industry at this level. Jake Owen's a golfer.
Chase Rice played football; Lee Brice played football;
Sam Hunt, too. Colt Ford is a big-time golfer."
So who'd win if there was a Country
music golf tournament?
"Right now, I'd probably put my money on Colt Ford," Lynch says. "I've
retired. I got burned out in college. What little free time I've got
now, I don't want to be worrying about which way a golf ball goes.
I've taken up fishing."
While he's on the road, Lynch is also at work on new songs, which are
likely to turn up on his next album. But like the non-LP self penned
"Good Girl," new music may hit the airwaves well before any
album is released.
"We've already started the creative process, the writing process," Lynch
says of his next album project. "(But) the landscape of music
changes so quickly that I like the thought of releasing music when
you know you've got something special. You go, 'Hey world, what do
you think of this?' and toss the golden nuggets out when you get
A couple more hits and Lynch is likely to be moving on up in the touring
world. It appears it's just a matter of time before he's headlining
arena shows on his own and finding new artists to support him.
"The industry as a whole is really expecting us to get there," Lynch says
of his prospects. "In my opinion, we're getting close. We have one
giant song, 'Small Town Boy.' Then it's continuing to pursue
excellence as a performer and having people talking about what a
great time they had at your show. You start doing that and,
eventually, there's not an arena that can hold you. I think it's in
the cards for us, going to that level, I really do."
"This Is It"
"I've lived a lot of life since my last record," says Scotty McCreery. "I moved out on my own, I travelled across the country and the world, I got engaged, I was even robbed at gunpoint. So I really wanted this album to show who Scotty is at 24, what's going on in my life, and I think we accomplished that. It is my most personal album yet."
With Seasons Change, McCreery takes a huge creative step forward,
co-writing all 11 songs on the album, and working with some of the finest songwriters in Nashville to express a wide range of emotions and
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