Artist Outlook 2012: Brantley Gilbert

What a year it was for Brantley Gilbert.


Flashback about two to three years ago and not many people knew who Brantley Gilbert was. He was busy on his own trying to build an audience and get some songs cut on major artists’ records. Looking back, 2010 was probably the first breakout year for Brantley. Jason Aldean had released My Kinda Party and the single became a huge hit. It was a Brantley Gilbert song and people started taking notice.

As the calendar turned to 2011, Brantley had himself a new record deal and Aldean released Dirt Road Anthem, another Brantley co-writer. The song became the biggest song of Jason’s career up to that point (and that’s saying something) and Brantley was not a hot commodity as a songwriter.

Also in 2011, Brantley had himself a rising single. After signing with the The Valory Music Co, Brantley saw his sophomore album re-released with new versions of his songs. The album slowly picked up steam as the proper debut single, Country Must Be Country Wide, slowly made its way up the charts.

Just a few weeks ago the song reached #1 on the charts. That’s a huge deal. The country audience is loving what Brantley is doing. He’s bringing a little hard rock into the roots of country and fans are loving it.

As 2011 ends, things are still looking up for Brantley Gilbert.

It’s going to be a good 2012 for Brantley. Here are a few things to look forward to.

Brantley Gilbert in 2012

After such a huge year it’ll be difficult to keep things going, but for Brantley Gilbert it feels like he’s just getting started. As the new year comes there is much to look forward to as a Brantley fan. His music is just starting to catch on with the mainstream country audience. DJs are open to playing his songs on the radio and there is so much more for country fans to discover with this rising country superstar.

New Singles

Brantley Gilbert PhotoBrantley just released his new single, You Don’t Know Her Like I Do. The song has a little rocking side to it that Brantley fans are used to but what I really love about the song is that it shows the soft, romantic side of this artist. The mainstream country audience loves when guys are able to showcase a little romance. The women love it and the men listen closely. Most of us guys have no clue how to be romantic so we need to take a few cues from the professionals. When a song like this comes out we pay attention and play it for our girls. It’s how we can express ourselves. Artists like Brantley can really speak to the women in the audience and the guys feel like it’s ok to let their guard down sometimes.

There is no doubt in my mind that You Don’t KNow Her Like I Do will become yet another #1 hit for Brantley Gilbert. If you follow the new country songs on CML you know I don’t call a #1 song very often. It’s difficult to achieve a top song and I don’t like to say that many songs will reach the top spot on the charts. I do, however, think this one is destine for the top spot.

Once this track hits the top of the charts it will be interesting to see what direction Brantley and Valory take. There are certainly more songs that could be released from Halfway to Heaven (I think My Kind of Crazy is a great song). I’m not sure if the label and Brantley will want to push this album more or if they’ll start work on a new album.

If pressed to guess I’d say they’ll release one more single from this album and then really get something cooking for the fall of 2012 with a new single and a new album.

New Album

I do think 2012 will bring a new album from Brantley Gilbert. He must have some new music up his sleeve from the last couple years. I have heard from artists that’s it’s difficult to really find time to record that follow up to the first successful album. They have their entire lives to prepare for making it big and then it’s hard to keep up with all the commitments while working on the next record.

I’m sure Brantley has a few songs prepared and if not I’m sure he can take a couple weeks off next year to lay down some great tracks for a new album. He’s got all the talent as proven by his songwriting and recording in the past.

Things are set up well for a new album to come from Brantley Gilbert in the fall of 2012. I think we could see a new single in the late summer of the year followed by an album in the October-November timeframe.

Brantley should be coming off 2 or 3 hit singles by that time and will also be coming off the road from one of the biggest tours of the year.

Tour with Eric Church

The big news recently was the planned headlining tour of Eric Church in 2012. Brantley will be joining Eric out on the road throughout the spring. There’s a good chance there will be a few shows beyond that as well before the festival shows kick off. I’m still holding out hope that Brantley will be playing here in my town of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It would be awesome to see him live in concert.

Brantley Gilbert Live Show

From the live footage I’ve seen on the video channels, it seems like Brantley puts on one hell of a show. The crowds always appear to be going absolutely crazy and I’d love to be in the crowd for one of his shows.

If you’ve been to a Brantley Gilbert concert please leave a comment about the experience.

Beyond 2012

Brantley Gilbert reminds me a little bit of John Rich. A few years back John was struggling to have much of anything going on in country. He was writing songs and not really getting any hits with other artists. Finally, a couple of those songs came out and then John broke out in a big way with Big & Rich. During the year of 2005 it seemed like every song on the radio was written by John Rich including his hits with Big & Rich.

That’s the way it could be in 2012 with Brantley. He’s had some great songs on his past records that other artists could swoop in and record and release as singles. Usually when you reach some form of success, others will want a piece of it and I’m sure there are lots of request for Brantley’s songs.

Although I’m sure he’ll save some for his next record.

So I think we’ll see some new songs from Brantley in songwriting form in 2012. I think this could continue for a couple years.

Beyond that I think we’ll see Brantley continue to have success with singles and albums. He seems to be on the crest of a change in country music. More rock influences are coming back into the genre and artists like Jason Aldean and Brantley Gilbert are leading the way.

It’s going to be a fun ride.

Hang on.

My Kind of Crazy

Dayne Shuda

Founder of Country Music Life. Follow on Twitter: @dayneshuda Follow on Google+: Dayne Shuda

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