This Georgian just peachy to country fans

Lowell welcomes Luke Bryan -- a singer, songwriter to watch,
2007-08-31T00:00:00Z This Georgian just peachy to country fansTOM LOUNGES
Times Correspondent
August 31, 2007 12:00 am  • 

The rowdy and raucous party song, "All My Friends Say," is one of the hottest country singles on the charts at the moment and getting hotter by the minute, making its writer/performer Luke Bryan one of the most promising new country music stars of the year.

Even before that single started getting legs at radio and running up playlists, Bryan was already getting a lot of media attention on the strength of his live show and his songwriting skills (he wrote "Good Directions" for Billy Currington and "Honky Tonk History" for Travis Tritt) which had landed him a publishing contract in 2001 at top independent publisher Murrah Music.

So much so that "Billboard" magazine put the promising young man on its "New Faces To Watch in 2007," list and "Country Weekly" magazine had Bryan on its "Who Hot in 2007" list.

At a time when there are a lot of serious, sullen and slow-tempo country singles on the charts, "All My Friends Say," is a foot-loose tune about going out and having a good time with one's friends while getting over a broken heart.

"It's one of those songs that people just seem to relate to when they hear it. It's about waking up in a rocking chair somewhere and wondering what in the heck went on the night before. It's about seeing your ex in a bar with someone new," said Bryan with a strong down-home Georgia drawl.

"We've all been there and had those kinds of experiences."

When asked if the song was written from experience about his own "lost nights," Bryan laughed. "Well, I did the college life (Georgia Southern University) for six years and joined a fraternity, so there is some personal perspective in there sure," he said.

"All My Friends Say" was released several weeks prior to the release of Bryan's Capitol Records album debut, "I'll Stay Me," which just hit retail racks on Aug. 14.

"We'll be playing most of the songs from the album and a few of the other songs that I've written for other artists and maybe a cover or two of songs I like," said Bryan of the live show he is bringing to DC's Country Junction tonight.

"I'll have my five piece road band with me -- a steel player, fiddle player, guitar, bass and drums -- and we'll have a whole lot of fun with y'all down there in Lowell. We don't really do a lot of slow songs, so you can expect a pretty energetic show that will keep everybody going."

"Nobody in my family ever played any instruments, but everyone sure loved music, so it was always very prevalent in our household," said Bryan, recalling a childhood spent in the fields of his family's Leesburg, Ga., farm helping his daddy harvest corn, cotton and peanuts.

"We always had music playing in the house," he said.

"I had one of those little suitcase record players and a stack of records that I would just sit and play all day long." Ronnie Milsap, Alabama, Earl Thomas Conley and Conway Twitty were among the artists whose records young Bryan would sit and sing along with in those early years.

"I had my first guitar when I was around 14, and I was about 15 or 16 when I started picking up a little money playing in bars," he said. "I did a few things here and there and started thinking that this wouldn't be a bad way to make a living."

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