When Dustin Lynch first arrived on the scene, he did so brilliantly, busting out of the gate with the single "Cowboys and Angels." The ballad peaked just shy of the top spot at Number Two, a good sign for anyone that a prosperous career was looming. But Lynch, a Tennessee native, still didn't feel comfortable. The idea of being a one-hit wonder plagued him.
"In the past, I was a little bit worried about the future," Lynch admits to Rolling Stone Country.
Now, however, the Broken Bow Records artist says he's more relaxed when it comes to longevity and credits that peace of mind to his first-ever Number One single "Where It's At (Yep, Yep)."
"I'm having more fun these past four months than I ever had making music. I realized I'm not in fear of not being able to do this anymore. I don't mean I made it or anything, but I've learned to enjoy the great things that are happening to me," he explains. "That all came with 'Where It's At.' Seeing how much country radio is behind me as a person, and changing my life with that song, it rejuvenated me."
Despite toying with a more radio-friendly progressive sound, Lynch is adamant about always keeping one foot within the traditional boundary of the genre.
"I don't want to get away from what brought me to this town, and that's Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Clint Black," says Lynch. "I'm always going to have those traditional moments on my albums, but I can listen to all sorts of music and straddle that fence with rocking things, rhythmic things and stone-cold country."
Lynch, who will open for Luke Bryan on the winter leg of the CMA Entertainer of the Year's That's My Kind of Night Tour, is looking every bit the rough-hewn cowboy these days, thanks to a scar underneath his right eye. The singer got beaned by a full beer can onstage during a show in Florida last month and required stitches.
Alas, there was no Axl Rose-like meltdown.
"Watching the video back, I'm glad I did what I did," he says. "I remember thinking onstage, 'Ok, this is on YouTube, let's make the right moves.'"