“Where It’s At” is the first song to be released from Dustin Lynch’s upcoming second album (which should come out later this year). Will you love this song? Yep, yep. Will you be able to keep it out of your head once you’ve heard it a few times? Nope, nope.
Dustin Lynch may be from Tullahoma, Tennessee, but he belongs to the entire world of country music. He may think he needs country music, but country music actually needs him more. Lynch is one of the rare, rising country stars who has the ability to project a fresh energy and sound while also honoring the tradition that gives the country genre the integrity that keeps fans so loyal. I’m guessing that he can do it all, given the chance.
He has a brand new single titled “Where It’s At.” If you want to know where “Where It’s At” is at, you’ll probably have to check near the top of the Billboard country chart. Already a Top 40 hit, this perfect summertime country anthem is also number 4 on the iTunes Top Country Songs list.
Some artists are probably just meant to be stars. Let’s face it, he’s the real deal; he has miles of down home charm, that wide-brimmed hat that suggests he is one of the good guys, and then he has the chiseled profile, steely blue eyes and easy grin that a country superhero would have — if there were a country superhero. And he can sing. Boy, can he sing. It’s enough to make you think it’s possible for the Western movie musical genre to make a comeback.
“Where It’s At” (written by Cary Barlowe, Zach Crowell and Matt Jenkins and produced by Mickey Jack Cones) celebrates the idea that as long as you’re with the one that matters, then that’s “where it’s at.” It’s a simple declaration of a positive idea, and it achieves what Dustin Lynch should be proud of — it takes the cliché of many contemporary Nashville songs (the obsession from afar of an object of desire) and brings it to a happy conclusion. The voice in this song doesn’t pine away about dancing with a girl he sees across a crowded bar; he does something about it and the song ends with them in a real-life grown-up intimate situation. It’s a country song that is as hip as any, but not aimed at the tween set. Furthermore, in the song Dustin reminds all that the need for a fancy setting or an expensive situation that would have a potential cowboy Romeo paying down his credit card for years is totally unnecessary. One plus one still equals two, and as long as it’s the right two, that’s all that matters. Talk about a country superhero.
Clearly, Dustin Lynch knows what country music fans want. In delivering “Where It’s At,” he’s giving them the 2014 summertime country smash they will be craving by May. The song fuses country grit with elements of pop (a beat that begs to be clapped along to and a catchy guitar wave that brings the listener a spray of “Yep, Yep” relief as if it were a splashing wave that cools on a sweltering summer day) that today’s country fans are familiar with. Who says country can’t please its ever-growing fan base and still enter high quality new musical territory? It is songs like “Where It’s At” that keep country music the most vital and healthy genre of all.
To purchase this song on iTunes, click here.
I had the chance to talk with Dustin Lynch this week about his music and his new single, “Where It’s At.” Here are just a few of the responses he had to some of the questions I asked him…
GV: It’s obvious that you really appreciate your fans. Where does that come from?
DL: For me, it’s easy. They allow me to do what I love and that’s perform country music live. They spend their hard-earned money to drive God knows how long, book a hotel room, book show tickets and then purchase overpriced alcohol at our shows all night. And so, I love ‘em for it. Also, it comes from me following Garth Brooks’ career for so long. He’s one of the best entertainers, in my opinion, of all time, and on top of that he’s (from what I can tell) one of the most sincere guys there is.
GV: Of all the songs you’ve written, which is your personal favorite?
DL: That’s tough. I think “Cowboys and Angels” has touched the most people, because it’s gotten the most radio play. And the stories I hear on how that song has touched people’s lives and become a part of their life’s soundtrack is unbelievable. It wrecks my world, some of the stories I hear on what the song means to guys and girls. It’s a connection that I didn’t realize happens with music on that level. Those are the kind of songs that I continue to strive to write.
GV: You have two songs on this other album that I fell in love with recently — Working Man’s Poet: A Merle Haggard Tribute. (Those two songs are “That’s the Way Love Goes” and “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink”).
DL: Oh, man. That Haggard album is so good. That’s actually what’s in my truck right now.
GV: Really good stuff. How were those two songs chosen for you to sing on it?
DL: They gave me a choice. I had a big list to choose from. “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” is a song that I’ve sung a thousand times down in those honky-tonks on Lower Broadway in Nashville. That was an easy pick, ‘cause I already knew it and I already knew what I was gonna do with it. “That’s The Way Love Goes” is probably my favorite Haggard song. I really wanted to nail that vocal.
GV: You really did. Your phrasing…
DL: Well, thank you.
GV: …just the way your voice barely breaks, entering a phrase… it’s a great contrast to the other song and it shows what a serious vocalist you are.
DL: Thank you, Greg. I’m really happy with how that one came out, too.
GV: Have you been approached to appear on the TV show Nashville yet?
DL: I had a song that I co-wrote a few years ago, called “It’s On Tonight,” close the show a couple weeks ago. So I’ve been a part of it that way.
(Here’s a YouTube clip of Dustin singing “It’s On Tonight”…)
GV: Are you excited about “Where It’s At”?
DL: It’s awesome. We’re already Top 40 and we’re not even two weeks into it. It’s unheard of. We have twice as many radio stations playing it the first week than we have had with any other single. It’s one of those songs — it’s gonna be a huge blessing in my life and in my band’s life. Unless I screw it up, you know, it’s gonna be a really good summer for us. It really is.
GV: So you’re already singing it in concert, because you’re out on the road right now, aren’t you?
GV: Are the audiences singing along with it yet?
DL: Yeah. You know, the “yep, yep” part everyone picks up on the first listen.
GV: Will there be a video for the song?
DL: There will be. We’re going to shoot it in the next month or so.
GV: In closing, what’s the best advice you’ve been given, and who gave it to you?
DL: It came from Garth Brooks and his manager. Always record the best songs you can. That’s what’s kept up going all these years. Whether you write them or whether you find them, make sure they’re the best and the rest will come easy. And I just keep that in mind as we’re moving forward and writing songs and picking songs for the album. It all begins with the song. Without a good song, you got nothin’.