FRESNO, Calif. — Dustin Lynch is a rising country-music star, with two hit singles and a self-titled album that debuted at No. 1 on the country charts.
The Tennessee native just got done opening for Justin Moore on the “Outlaws Like Me Tour.”
It’s dream-come-true stuff for Lynch, whose heroes are guys like Alan Jackson and Garth Brooks — singers who revolutionized the idea of what a country performer could be.
Lynch knew he wanted to perform the first time he played with a band in high school. But it wasn’t a quick jump to the spotlight. The way the business works, is, you move to Nashville and start grinding away, Lynch says.
For Lynch, that meant hanging around the Bluebird Café, a famous gathering place for Nashville songwriters. He went to David Lipscomb University, in part, because of its proximity to the club, and he rented an apartment behind the back parking lot so he could be within walking distance.
Just being at the cafe taught him a lot about how to craft a great song, which is what he started doing the minute he got a publishing deal. Within his first two years as a professional songwriter, he wrote close to 200 tunes. It wasn’t the bright lights of center stage, but he was able to quit working his day job to focus as a musician.
And he still writes songs.
He has enough for a second album, and he’s antsy to share them with his fans, though that will have to wait until he’s off the road. In July, he’ll be out with Keith Urban on the “Light Your Fuse” tour.
Even on tour, he still writes. It’s what he does on the bus, on breaks and in between shows. He even has a group of writers he brings along for just that purpose.
These are guys he idolized when he first moved to Nashville, guys he essentially stalked at the cafe and other places in town. He doesn’t take lightly that he now gets to work with them.
“They work hard when they are out here.”
A good song effects listeners emotionally, Lynch says.
A great song does that and stands the test of time.
That’s what he’s looking for, a song that ends up in the jukebox and at karaoke bars. One that gets radio play 10 or 20 years after its release.
Of course, having a song that sells a million copies — like his first hit single, “Cowboys and Angels” — ain’t too bad either.
“One million people have wanted to buy that song,” Lynch says. “It’s crazy.”
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