While Luke Bryan might be busy shaking his hips and crooning about kicking up dust, his impressive songbook contains some of the most alluring work in country music the past decade. His Capitol Records debut arrived in 2007 with I’ll Stay Me, a completely modern-spun traditional record which mixed only a pinch of rock and pop with a far more grounded sound (mixed with the working man blues). As his star grew in the coming years—following 2009’s Doin’ My Thing (anchored by “Do I,” the foot-stomping “Rain is a Good Thing” and “Someone Else Calling You Baby”)—his musical tendencies began to shift in major ways. His syrupy sweet voice lilting across the American Heartland soon become a relic of the past. Luke didn’t forget his roots; he just moved on to greener pastures. That’s not a terrible thing, though, as his later albums did inspire some real stories about real people.
Luke’s Tailgates & Tanlines (2011) features the smashing wrecking ball that is “Country Girl (Shake It for Me),” as well as his other signatures “Drunk on You,” “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” and “I Don’t Want This Night to End.” He later continued his foray into hip-hop-textured songs about parties and good-looking female suitors with 2013’s Crash My Party (featuring the blockbuster and eyebrow-raising “That’s My Kind of Night” anthem) and a string of Spring Break-themed EPs. Along the way, Luke made sure to include wholesome tales about small towns, love, life, heartache and devastating loss.
As Luke gears up for his brand new full player called Kill the Lights, expected August 7 in conjunction with a “Good Morning America” performance as part of their summer concert series, it’s time to take a step back in time and examine his work. His new album’s lead track “Kick the Dust Up” is already creating a cloudy whirlwind on country radio. To commemorate his newest release, Country Outfitter has put together a list of Luke’s 10 hidden gems—songs that his most diehard of fans might have forgotten about or casual fans might not know exist. Get ready, get set, enjoy!
“The Car in Front of Me” (2007’s I’ll Stay Me)
“Tailgate Blues” (2011’s Tailgates & Tanlines)
“Chuggin’ Along” (2009’s Doin’ My Thing)
“First Love Song” (2007’s I’ll Stay Me)
“You Don’t Know Jack” (2011’s Tailgates & Tanlines)
“I’ll Stay Me” (2007’s I’ll Stay Me)
“I Did It Again” (2009’s Doin’ My Thing)
“Tackle Box” (2007’s I’ll Stay Me)
“I Knew You That Way” (2011’s Tailgates & Tanlines)
“Baby’s on the Way” (2007’s I’ll Stay Me)
Image Source: UMG, PR Photos
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