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Q&A with Luke Bryan About His First Album, “I’ll Stay Me” (2007)

Newcomer Luke Bryan has a hit song, a new album, a big show on the horizon … and a four-legged fishin’ buddy!

photo courtesy Capitol Nashville

Luke recently spent some time with CW’s David Scarlett to talk about the whirlwind his life has become since signing his record deal and releasing his first album Aug. 14. Here’s some of what Luke had to say:

Talk about the Big State Festival [], Oct. 13–14 in Bryan-College Station, Texas. There’s a great lineup … anyone you’re looking forward to seeing?

LB: Just to be a part of it … I think McGraw’s on it too. I’m lookin’ forward to seein’ all those guys. The neatest part about what I’m able to do is, I’m such a huge country fan, and even doin’ these festivals we’ve been doin’ all summer, heck, I’m one of the first acts on. I’ll get done with my show, then I’ll sneak around back and watch all the other shows. So I’m excited, certainly, about bein’ onstage. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Kevin Fowler, and I want to see a lot of these Texas acts. A lot of great acts are happening down in Texas and I want to see what they’ve got goin’ on. And, obviously, I want to see the big superstars, too. Yeah, I’m very excited about bein’ on that thing.

And you’ve gotta be able to pick up something and learn something by seein’ that many great performers in one place.

LB: I think, yeah, any chance you get … it’s like a baseball player getting to watch a great all-time hitter. If you want to be a great hitter, you need to stand in there and watch what he does. It’s the same deal. I like to see what they’re doin’ to connect with the crowd and try to figure out a way to get it into my show.

Did you follow the Nashville tradition and go buy your album, I’ll Stay Me, the first day it was out?

LB: I bought my album at my hometown in Leesburg, Georgia, at the Wal-Mart there. So I certainly got to do that, and it was neat to do it at home.

What was it like to see your stuff in the rack with Tim … and Trace … a dream come true?

LB: It’s just overwhelming. The beauty of this business is you get to do so many cool little things along the way in your quest to keep goin’ to the top. And that’s certainly one of the biggest things ever, to have an album comin’ out. And to have a song that’s doin’ well on the charts to help drive the sales of the album. And to be able to purchase it and have fun. It’s just been an amazing experience, all the way across the board.

Have a lot of friends and family at Wal-Mart?

LB: We had a big in-store with about 2500 friends and family there. It was just a wonderful day.

I know you fish with your English Cocker, Maggie. Do you have any two-legged fishin’ buddies?

LB: Well, I’ve got several buddies in town I fish with and me and Caroline, my wife … we’ll get out on the lake every now and then and mess around and do some fishin’. Bein’ gone so much, we want to do whatever we can to spend a little time together. But I’ve determined golf is not my thing, so I’m stickin’ with fishin’.

When you fish with Maggie, do you talk with her … like she’s really a fishin’ buddy?

LB: I sit there … we’ll stop and I’ll get a half-full bottle of water and throw it out on the water and let her swim a little bit. You know, I’ve always been an animal person and nothin’ is more aggravating than people who take up the responsibility of havin’ an animal, then lock ’em up in a pen or lock ’em up in the house all day. So it’s just a reason to get the animal out of the house. I just don’t feel that’s right, to pen an animal up in somethin’ all day long every day. I like to try to get her out in the yard, just get her out as much as I can.

I love the debut single, "All My Friends Say." It’s the perfect album launch tune. How much of it is drawn from personal experience?

LB: Yeah, well … I partied it up in college. So I’d say there were several times throughout my college experience that things like that happened to me. I’d love to say nobody ever made me jealous, but I certainly pulled that song from a lot of past experiences that I’ve been through [laughs].

For more on Luke, check out the story on page 56 of the Sept. 24, 2007 issue of Country Weekly magazine.

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