Luke Bryan is no stranger to success when releasing music, whether the track makes you move your body or moves your soul, his singles climb the charts and he sells out arenas. His last album, Kill the Lights was the first in history to have six singles reach No. 1 on the Country Billboard charts and his “Huntin’, Fishin’ And Lovin’ Every Day” tour has packed arenas all over the country this past year. His newest album, What Makes You Country, which is available everywhere today brings Bryan back to his roots. Blending his own unique brand of country music which combines pop-country with traditional lyrics. For his 6th studio album, Bryan gave fans more of what he knows they love, songs that will translate well in his live shows as well as radio-friendly hits.
To celebrate the release of the album, Bryan took NYC by storm this past week. First up, New York Country Swag headed to The Altman Building to catch Pandora’s Up Close With Luke Bryan presented by FedEx Wednesday night. The line of fans wrapped around the long city block, hoping that they would make the first come-first serve cut into the venue. Once inside, fans were treated to free Luke Bryan t-shirts, a photo booth backdrop and a close spot in front of the stage. Although this was an album release party, fans were excited to hear plenty of Bryan’s hits from his ten-year career including, “That’s My Kind of Night”, “Play It Again” “Fast” and of course closing with a high octane version of “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”.
Thursday, Bryan stopped by NASH FM 94.7’s Stage 17 studio to perform more singles off his forthcoming album including “Hooked On It” and the title track. The performance and interview, curated by Mike Allan, assistant program director for NASH FM 94.7 was broadcasted live across the country. DJs Katie Neal and Jesse Addy chatted with Bryan about writing the new songs and asked him to describe what he thinks “Makes You Country?” “An overall way that you view life, the way that you approach life with humility and honor and compassion and faith and belief.” the singer explained. A small group of audience members and winners from NASH FM were treated to stripped down, acoustic versions of the songs and the intimate setting was the perfect place for Bryan to be his goofy self, joking about his shirt being too tight and popping a button off. He ended his visit by taking pictures with his biggest fans.
Although all 15 tracks work well together to create a cohesive country record, a few highlights on the album include “Land of a Million Songs” a true testament to the struggles that Nashville songwriters go through to create your favorite music. Another stand out is “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” which was written by Ryan Hurd, Chase McGill and Zach Crowell. Hurd took to Instagram hours before the album was released to express his gratitude to everyone involved, especially for his fiance Maren Morris, for who he says the song was written about.
The final track on the record, “Win Life” was written by husband and wife songwriters Nicolle Gaylon and Rodney Clawson along with Ross Copperman. It fits right into Bryan’s wheelhouse, as a dad, a country superstar, and a husband just trying to do his best with the time he is given.
For Bryan’s biggest appearance during his album release week in NYC, he took the stage at the brand new Opry City Stage in the heart of Times Square for his live performance on Good Morning America. Joined by Robin Roberts and GMA’s leading meteorologist, Ginger Zee, Bryan performed his latest single “Light It Up”, as well as another track off What Makes You Country, “Most People are Good” and other hits for the select few in the studio audience. Finally, Bryan’s fans across the country were able to hear some of the songs live and head to their favorite outlet to purchase the full album.
Thanks for supporting Country Music in NYC!
– Team NYCountry Swag