Dustin Lynch burst onto the country scene with his debut single “Cowboys and Angels”. A song that is certified platinum¹. From there Lynch went on to release “She Cranks My Tractor” and “Wild in Your Smile” both of which found little success on the charts. Now two years after the release of his hit single, Lynch is poised to make a more sustained run near the top of the charts. His current single “Where It’s At” sits inside the top five and has sold over half a million copies. His sophomore album Where It’s At hit stores on September 9th. But how did we get there?
Dustin Lynch is an interesting case to dissect. When “Cowboys and Angels” was making it’s run to the top of the charts many critics were quick to point out the similarities between him and George Strait. Nobody was calling him Strait, nor were they saying he would be as successful as Strait. Instead, the comparisons were in sound and message. Country music was, and still is, lacking a true cowboy. People saw Lynch as the man to fill the void. Perhaps, it had something to do with the word “cowboy” being right in the title of his first single. Maybe it was that Lynch wrote the song about his grandparents. Or it was his oversized cowboy hat; that lead people to ascertain that Lynch was indeed the next true “cowboy” of country music.
The problem arose when Lynch released his next single “She Cranks My Tractor”. From the title alone you can tell it’s not a song George Strait would have cut, let alone release to radio. The comparisons to Strait quickly diminished. Those hoping Lynch would be the next cowboy were disappointed. Even with negativity surrounding the single it still charted inside the top thirty. Hoping to right the ship, and revert back to the success of his debut single Lynch released a third radio single, “Wild in Your Smile” from his debut self-titled album. Never climbing inside the top thirty, it became fair to wonder if Lynch’s biggest hit would be “Cowboys and Angels.”
Nobody in music wants to be a one-hit wonder. That statement reigns especially true within country music, where record deals are few and far between. The pressure was on for Dustin Lynch ahead of his second album. Flop and he was likely to never be heard from again. Rise to the occasion and all the questions disappear in an instant. On March 31st, some five months before the release of his sophomore album, Lynch released “Where It’s At”. That single went on to be one of the hottest songs of the summer. Forever proving that a catchy chorus and a good message is all it takes to produce a hit country song in today’s world. Even the biggest optimists at Broken Bow² likely didn’t envision this type of success.
Broken Bow Records didn’t want Lynch to be considered a one-hit wonder as much as Lynch didn’t want to himself. In order to protect themselves against that happening they likely made a plan that gave Lynch’s sophomore album the best possible chance at succeeding. It started with the release of “Where it’s At.” A song that Lynch hit out of the park and so riding the success of “Where It’s At” Dustin Lynch released his sophomore album on September 9. It entered the charts as the number two country album and has sustained a solid amount of success since it’s release. He’ll release a second single off of the album next week entitled “Hell of a Night.” The song is an upbeat party anthem, which makes it’s release date peculiar. For the most part country music tends to slow down as the weather gets colder. Lynch will go against the grain here.
¹ One million copies sold.
² Dustin Lynch’s label.