Dustin Lynch has always been one of Parcbench’s favorite country stars. We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing him ever since his first single (“Cowboys and Angels”) hit back in 2012. It’s a new decade now and he’s got a new album, but it’s still the same well-crafted, solid, country music. Here’s Dustin’s take on the songs on ‘Tullahoma’:
About the album ‘TULLAHOMA’
Dustin: My new album is named ‘Tullahoma’ for one reason, it’s a tip of the hat to my hometown. Every song on this album is something I’ve lived. That town made me who I am. Ya know, it’s the high school. It’s the backroads we drove and did life on. It’s KK’s Pawn Shop where I got my first guitar and rented my PA system from when I was doing my shows in the park. You know, it’s the Baskin Robbins where we used to always hang out and try to get free milkshakes. It’s those places but more importantly, as we travel the country and travel the world singing these songs it’s those people that are a part of me, it’s those people’s stories that I carry with me. I know even though we can’t have them out on the road with us every night I know they are back at home rooting for me. They are why I love what I love and I think thats why I’m singing what I’m singing. That’s ‘Tullahoma.’ So this is a bit of a tip of the hat to those people back home and my town of Tullahoma.
A Track-by track Guide
Dustin: “Momma’s House” ends up being the one thing that kinda saves this guy from going into a destructive, downward spiral after a break up. It really kinda takes you back to your hometown and that first heartbreak. Everything in life you kinda look at from a different perspective. At least I did after my first big break up. It’s a bit of an introspective look as to what he would do if he had it his way, if it wasn’t for his momma’s house.
Dustin: “Dirt Road” is a bit of a tip of a hat. It reminds me for whatever reason that Alan Jackson is one of my heroes. We grew up in a completely different way. We grew up in a small town where everything is little bitty, right, everybody knows everybody. This dream takes us to a six lane city with high rises and cranes everywhere, ‘Music City Nashville.’ As we live our dreams and get to travel the country we start realizing how special home is. We start realizing how special home towns are and family is and the way of life, the simple way of life. We start realizing how special that is. “Dirt Road” kinda lifts that town up and even though we are chasing our dreams in Music City we still long for that grounding that the home town of Tullahoma has for me.
“THINKING ‘BOUT YOU”
(feat. Lauren Alaina)
Dustin: “Thinking ‘Bout You” is a song that is a direct phone conversation which is a first for me. I’ve never recorded a song that’s a phone conversation. But it’s a phone conversation between a guy and a girl. Particularly, this one is me and Lauren Alaina. It’s a love that used to be and it two people reminiscing about how good of a time they had with each other and just certain memories that stick out. And there’s no hard feelings, ya know, it’s kinda one of those deals where you’re missing someone and it just feels good to hear their voice again and maybe one day those paths will cross again.
Dustin: “Ridin’ Roads” is the first song I’ve ever been inspired to write by an Instagram story. One of my good buddies, Corbin, who I feature a lot, he and I are great buds. I was getting ready to go to the studio, eating breakfast one morning and just catching up on Instagram like we all do. And I clicked on his story and instantly I’m in the cab of his tuck. He has three girls dancing all over the place in his truck bed. They’re partying and dancing and I’m like ‘man there’s a song here somewhere’. I just had this image of a truck with crazy disco lights bouncing down the road. I wanted to take that idea into the studio. Some kind of way “Ridin’ Roads” fell out as the title and we couldn’t believe that”Ridin’ Roads” hadn’t been written. It’s something I grew up always sayin’. That’s what we do in Tullahoma on the weekends. There’s not a whole lot to do; you go to the bowling alley, go to the skating rink or you can go ride roads and that was it. It’s one of those titles that was meant to be written by me. I think growing up doing that I need to do a little bit more of that. “Ridin’ Roads” has been a song that has changed our lives as a touring band and we love singing every night.
“OLD COUNTRY SONG”
Dustin: “Old Country Song” is in a way it’s weird the title kinda speaks to exactly what it is. It’s a simple classic country lyric and melody about a guy and a girl laying low together. There is something very classic and regal about bringing in different elements of Nashville, Tennessee, of the Grand Ole Opry, of Hank, of Johnny and June, that list goes on and on. That classic love, you know, the love that lasts forever. It’s comfortable. “Old Country Song” is just a feel good love song that I hope people will put on and have a great night to.
“THE WORLD AIN’T YOURS AND MINE”
Dustin: “The World Ain’t Yours and Mine” is a song that I think all of us as songwriters wish we would have written. Matt Ramsey wrote this song, singer for Old Dominion. He hit me up with this song, allowed me to record it and he’s actually singing background vocals on it. We just really took that demo and lifted it up and kept its uniqueness. Make me think a little bit which you know it has a little abstractness to it and I think that allows the listener to kinda make it their own and apply it to their own lives and story and whatever situation they’re in, relationship they’re in. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever recorded.
Dustin: “Country Star” is a song I’m really proud of because I got to write it with my buddy, BK, from Florida Georgia Line. Especially here in Nashville, you have to go outside of the city to see stars. It’s something I’ve never realized until I moved to a bigger city. I’m used to always seeing stars back in Tullahoma. There is something special about those stars in the country. We decided to take this idea pretty much out to my farm, outside of Nashville, and write a song about me and my girl out there doing what we do on a night off of the road. That’s getting the tractor and have fun and riding around and just be with one another underneath the stars, enjoying life together.
“WORKIN’ ON YOU”
Dustin: “Workin’ On You,” Rhett Akins does it again. My good buddy Rhett Atkins. I’m on the road with Rhett. He has been one of my biggest influences as a songwriter. One night we’re having a fun little after party and Rhett didn’t even realize it was his song until we started playing the demo and it was his voice and he goes ‘is that me singing’ and instantly I was like we are cutting this, we’re recording this. It’s a song about [a] hard working guy. He’s worked all week long just to hang out with his girl for a day or two. I can relate to that, I think a lot of us can relate to that. Being out on the road, us musicians, we’re at work. We don’t get to come home to our girls, our families, whatever the situation maybe. So we work hard all weekend long so we get to come home and actually sleep in our beds for a couple of days. So there’s always that kinda light at the end of the tunnel you can’t wait to see and you work towards and that’s what “Workin’ On You” means to me.
“LITTLE TOWN LIVIN'”
Dustin: “Little Town Livin’” is an autobiography of my hometown, Tullahoma. Every single line in this song I could take you to the place where it happens – still today. Kids are going out building fires, playing music, skipping rocks, drinking a six-pack that they paid their friend’s older brother to buy for them. It’s about doing life kinda off the map a little bit, you know. The phrasing of “Little Town Livin’” is very interesting to me. It’s something I’ve never done before. It has a bit of quick phrasing to it. You might wanna call it rap. It’s not rap… I can’t rap… It ain’t rap but you know it just allows that chorus to soar. There is a pride that happens in the air in whatever venue we’re in or if we’re outside playing a fair or festival. I feel a sense of pride within the crowd every time we sing this song because everyone is singing about their song. No matter where we are in the world singing this song people are thinking about how they grew up and where they grew up. That’s what’s special about music and that’s what’s special about this song “Little Town Livin’.”
“RED DIRT, BLUE EYES”
Dustin: “Red Dirt, Blue Eyes” inspired by the duck river running through Bedford County, Tennessee. Right outside of my hometown, Tullahoma. There’s a lot of spots to go where you can’t be found. “Red Dirt, Blue Eyes” is about one of those dirt roads out there near the duck where we used to park. You know, as a high school kid figuring out how to date a girl for the first time and how to impress a girl and what song to play and what to do. I think there’s something special about losing all connection to everything else in the world except what’s happening between you and someone else’s eyes; and this song speaks to a pair of blue eyes that are very easy to get lost in.
Dustin: “Good Girl” is a song that was inspired by my mom’s longing for me to find someone that makes me happy. That I can bring home that I’m proud of. “Good Girl” is one of our biggest reacting songs in our show and it’s a great sing-along so it’s done wonderful things and changed our lives.