By the time country star Luke Bryan is on stage and performing for more than 8,500 clamoring fans on Saturday, he will have just scratched the surface of a long tour away from home. But on the road, Bryan said he’s carrying a piece of home with him.
It’s a single peanut, on the back of his guitar pick.
“I just thought it would be cool to put it on,” Bryan said in his Georgian twang over the phone last week.
With several platinum country hits under his belt, Bryan, the son of a peanut farmer, can plan on being away from his small-town roots for a while. After his sold-out concert this weekend for the Greeley Stampede, he’s scheduled for a whopping 39 more shows through October.
It makes for a full summer, but Bryan said he manages.
“My main thing is just to try to get a good night’s sleep, work out, stay healthy. And at the end of the day, just enjoy being on stage,” Bryan said.
Being on the road actually helps with song writing, he said. In his latest album, Tailgates and Tanlines, Bryan co-wrote eight of 13 songs.
“Being out with fans is very inspiring for me,” Bryan said. “So I take all that inspiration and energy and maybe write a song from it.”
Bryan may always be a country boy at heart, but he said he tries to relate to everyone who comes to his concerts, even if it’s just by incorporating the name of the state or city in his performance.
“I try to relate to everybody a little bit, make sure my show makes everybody smile,” he said. “I don’t take anything too seriously. I just get up there and have a good ol’ time.”
A good ol’ time is what Bryan is all about — four of his five albums have a spring break theme. Bryan has a wife and two young boys, Bo and Tate, but he said spring breaks seem to immediately bring people back to a time in their life when they were just having fun.
“At the end of day, too, I am a family man,” Bryan said. “But I’m out there having a good time … As long as it keeps me young at heart, and that is what half of the battle is.”
Aside from his decorated guitar pick, Bryan said he hasn’t brought much else with him from the fields of Leesburg, Ga., although there’s probably still some peanut dust in his ears, somewhere.
That and the memory of country girls getting down to inspire one of his major singles, “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).”
“Country girls shake it pretty darn good,” Bryan said. “I can certainly vouch for that.”