Brantley Gilbert Talks Staying Country, Writing with Brian McKnight
Tune the radio today to any Top 20 Country station in America and the majority of the hits are coming straight out of Georgia. A shift in the mainstream country scene is building, and sitting atop the wave is singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert, who leads the charge with a musical style that blurs the lines between country and rock 'n' roll. Brantley will talk about all of that -- the awards that followed his breakthrough album, his place in the new country hierarchy -- if necessary, but what he really wants to talk about is his new fiancée, Jana Kramer. Like a true Southern country boy, he is head over heels and always looking for a way to squeeze her into his conversations.
Gilbert is coming to Salt River Fields on Wednesday, July 3; he's headlining the Independence Day Music Festival, featuring Tyler Farr, LoCash Cowboys, and a monstrous fireworks show to light up the desert sky. Up on the Sun spoke with Brantley in the days leading up to his performance about his achievements and his future.
We're excited to see you here for the Independence Day Music Festival.
It's going to be a ball; I'm excited to come. I love Phoenix. We always have a good time there.
What are you planning on bringing to the stage for us since it's a 4th of July celebration?
A party. I'm going to bring a party with me -- that's what I'm talking about. We're going to come with all guns blazing and put 'em back in the holsters the same way. Amen.
Okay: Give me three reasons why country music kicks ass.
The stories, the songwriting, and the fact that it led me to my fiancée. [laughs] It's really the message you portray and the difference you can make in people's lives. You can help get people through situations with songs you write that have things they can relate to. And to help soldiers get through their deployments.
That's really what it's all about.
I would like to get your perspective on the mainstream country music coming out of Georgia lately?
There's something in the clay, brother.
There must be. It's taking over.
Yes, it is. I'm really proud to be able to be one of those acts. I don't know what it is, because every single one of us has a different style. It's gotta be in the clay.
You have a new album in the works, correct?
Yes, sir, we're working our tails off on it. I'm ready to get it out.
When can we expect it?
I'm hoping for late fall.
After the jump: If you listen to the words of [my rock songs], I can guarantee you [they're] as country as the day is long.