On the same day he was preparing to receive the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award at that evening’s ACM Honors in Nashville, Luke Bryan gave a private tour of his Dirt Road Diary exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to a pair of radio contest winners. Rolling Stone Country cameras shadowed the “Strip It Down” singer for an exclusive video as he offered personal anecdotes about each of the items in his specially curated display.
Afterward, Bryan sat for a candid interview with Rolling Stone Country, in which he chronicled his career milestones and stumbles, took a hard look at his critics and recalled his “George Strait phase.” He also offered his thoughts on what songs like “Kick the Dust Up” and “That’s My Kind of Night” provide audiences.
“The people I want to appeal to, they’re not coming to analyze it from top to bottom. They have to analyze their daily life. Every day. From the time their alarm clock goes off until the time they go to bed; they want to go to my show and not analyze anything, and not overthink,” Bryan says. “They just want to hop on the ride and leave and go, “That was a blast.”
Bryan — who received CMA Awards nominations this week in the Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist categories — was also contemplative, assessing his future on the road as a married father just shy of 40. “I know my love for the fan experience will never change,” he says. “My love for being onstage and interacting with them. That’s when I can’t answer my cell phone; that’s when nobody can get to me in a bothersome way. This is my world.”
Bryan’s exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame is scheduled to run through November 8th.