Brantley Gilbert’s debut Valory Music Co. single, “Country Must Be Country Wide,” officially shipped to radio this week. Brantley, who grew up in a small town in Georgia, credits his upbringing with his ability to write about honest lyrics about small town life which he believes isn’t found just in the south but ‘country wide.’
“I’ve never lived the fast-paced city life,” Brantley said. “I’ve always lived the small town just good ole boy [life]. You know, you say ‘Ma’am’ or you get popped in the mouth. It’s really more than anything a small town environment more than being in the South. I think it’s being outside that hustle and bustle really gives you more time to reflect.”
Brantley’s music career was almost over before it started, however, when he was involved in a nearly fatal car accident in 2005. He had just bought a brand new Ford F-150 that only had around 30 miles on it at the time of the accident. He woke up in the hospital nearly two weeks later with some memory loss due to a head injury. “I was always the person that [said] ‘That’s not gonna happen to me. That’s never gonna happen to me,’” Brantley said. “And it did, and I shouldn’t have lived through it.”
Surviving an accident like that would affect anyone. It changed Brantley not just as a person but as an artist. “Essentially everything about me, I think, [changed],” Brantley said. “I had a little bit of memory loss, so the person I was before, I really found in the songs I had already written. And it really just changed my perspective on life as a whole. So, it felt like I was here for a reason and I felt like I could make a bigger impact with music than with anything else.”
Brantley is putting the finishing touches on his debut album from Valory Music Co., expected out later this year. You can catch Brantley on Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour this summer.