"Gotta little boom in my big truck/ gonna open up the doors and turn it up/ gonna stomp my boots in the Georgia mud/ gonna watch you make me fall in love/ get up on the hood of my daddy's tractor/ up on the tool box it don't matter/ down on the tailgate girl I can't wait/ to watch you do your thing." - Country Girl (Shake It For Me.) - Luke Bryan-Dallas Davidson.

Georgian gaucho Luke Bryan rides in the same caboose as fellow hatless hunk Keith Urban.

That posse of young singers making Nashville hat-agnostic also includes Urban, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner and others.

And, like Urban and Shelton, Luke has utilised reality TV to shine his southern spotlight beyond mainstream country media.

Urban and Shelton ignited their profiles and sales on The Voice franchises with help on red carpets and silver screens from spouses Nicole Kidman and Miranda Lambert.

Kidman's acting CV includes the evocative Cold Mountain music movie with Loretta Lynn producer Jack White.

Now Lambert, 27, has followed young superstar Taylor Swift, 22, into TV crime shows.

Miranda joined fellow Texan Lyle Lovett and rapper Ice Tea in Law & Order: SVU after Swift finished up as a slender corpse in CSI - Vegas.

In the SVU episode an aspiring actress is found unconscious in Central Park with drugs in her system and evidence of sexual trauma.

Lambert is cast as another actress who is in danger of being assaulted by the producer of a reality TV show.

Harry Connick Jr. and Michael McKean also guest star in the episode.

Meanwhile back to Bryan who followed Gloriana, one time support act down under for Swift, on The Bachelorette - a reality show shot in North Carolina.

Bryan had already topped the Billboard charts on debut with third album Tailgates & Tanlines (Capitol-EMI) but there was a sales spike after his Bachelorette cameo last month.

Aided by rural rooted videos and twittering social media, Luke has long connected with an increasingly young audience that has extended sales way beyond platinum.

His massive success also has pitfalls - fake Luke Bryan Facebook pages ensure the singer has also been stung by the twittering classes.

But that may have been eased by Miller Lite sponsorship from 2008 - a liquid conduit to the masses.


"There's peanut dust and corn husks drifting through the air tonight/ the marching band's warming up under the football lights/ there's tractor trailers backed up down by the elevator/ train truck grain will roll in later/ get filled up and head out into the world." - Harvest Time - Luke Bryan-Rodney Clawson.

Bryan, like Oklahoma native Shelton, grew up on a farm near a tiny town.

And he also suffered a sibling tragedy as a teenager long before his ascent to the honky tonks, chart success and stadiums.

Lambert and Shelton depicted the death of Blake's older brother Richie, killed on November 13, 1990, in a car accident at 24, in her hit Over You.

Shelton, now 34, was only 14 at the time of Richie's death.

Bryan was performing in country bands around his hometown Leesburg by the time he was 16.

With encouragement from his older brother, Chris, he planned to move to Nashville when he finished high school.

Just as that was about to happen Chris was killed in a car accident.

Bryan decided to remain at home, work in his family's farming businesses and enrol at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.

He continued to play in country bands as he worked toward a degree in business management and revelled in fraternity life.

Bryan, a Sigma Chi, began making a name for himself as lead singer in a band, Neyami Road.

But Luke sings more of country than campus in his latter day career.

"Georgia Southern is about as rural as where I was brought up," Bryan revealed.

"I used to laugh that I could be in class at 3:30 and be on a deer stand at 3:35."

Neyami Road played two or three nights a week.

"Everybody split the proceeds at the end of the night," Bryan recalled.

"We recorded a little CD in Athens and sold 2 or 3,000 around Georgia Southern. I wrote all the songs on it. It was kind of my first taste at recording."

After completing his degree he moved to Nashville in September 2001.

He had plenty of practical experience under his belt but was still innocent in the music business.


"I don't know much about that time/ just the smell of the air and your hand in mine/ riding the strip sitting on my lap in the back of a truck/ with the only friends I had/ it was spring break, we were out late/ and I thought goodness for heaven's sake/ when I saw you and then I kissed you." - Faded Away - Luke Bryan-Michael Carter

"I didn't know a thing about it," Bryan now admits.

"I didn't have one contact. Then I met Rachel Proctor - a songwriter at Murrah Music. I played her some songs, and she introduced me to company owner (writer Roger.) He really dug the songs that I was writing and decided to give me a publishing deal."

Capitol offered him a record deal in October 2004.

Despite doing the radio circuit after recording it wasn't until February of 2007 that Bryan impacted with release of All My Friends Say before his album in August.

Capitol planned to include Good Directions on the album under original title Right Back Here to Me - The Sweet Tea Song.

But fellow Georgian Billy Currington's hit version took off.

"Good Directions began to get so much press and become such a big song that we felt like at that point it had kind of done what it was going to do," Bryan says.

"There were lots of times on my radio interviews that I was dedicating 80 to 90 percent of the interview to talking about Good Directions instead of about All My Friends Say."

So Capitol dropped Good Directions from the album and substituted Pray About Everything - a song co-written by Bryan's producer, Jeff Stevens.

That was then - now Bryan has blazed his own trail with his third album produced by Stevens and Mark Bright.


"It flows underneath the 32 bridge and cuts through the heart of South Georgia/ big copperheads and mean wild pigs and gators in the weeds waiting for ya/ I leave my phone in the truck, I leave my truck at the road/ my four wheeler get em where I want to go/ I leave the world behind, I pull my hat down low/ get back to my roots by a full mean glow." - Muckalee Creek Water - Luke Bryan-Patrick Jason Matthews.

Bryan tills rural roots in only two of seven original tunes on his third disc - for a good reason.

His music nails urban audiences who shot the album to #1 on debut on country charts.

Bryan and Georgian co-writers Dallas Davidson, Rhett Atkins and Ben Hayslip - aka The Peach Pickers - set the mood on entrée Country Girl (Shake It For Me) and I Don't Want This Night To End.

Ironically there is no song called Tailgates & Tanlines - just the Brent Cobb-Neil Medley tune Tailgate Blues.

Alabama stone country singer Ashton Shepherd provides backing vocals for a robust melody that perhaps parodies the tailgating fad.

"I was goin' down the road, and my manager texted me, Album title: Tailgates & Tanlines." Bryan recalled.

"And I said, 'Where'd you get that?' And the head of my label's promotion department came up with it. And it's a long shot for me to sign off on it. So I see it, and then the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a great album title."

Bryan is keen to reprise the title in a song for his fourth album.

"We've already got things in place where we're working on that title, so hopefully it'll be on the next album," Bryan added.

"I think thematically what that title says, and we refer to tailgates in a few songs, but it says youth and rural and everything I want an album title to say."

Luke received massive exposure as support on the Emotional Rescue tour by singing actor Tim McGraw who enjoyed his second Australian tour in March with singing spouse Faith Hill and the Texan Eli Young Band.

Bryan's shift in headgear doesn't escape some of his songs.

Neither does paternity - Bryan and his wife, Caroline, called their first son Bo before adding another child to the family in August, 2010.

So it's easy for Bryan to perform a posse of positive love songs - Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, Faded Away, I Know You're Gonna Be There.

But he can still relive his not so distant past in the hedonistic Too Damn Young and Drunk On You.

Too Damn Young - previously cut by another Georgian Julie Roberts on her Men and Mascara CD depicts a couple who fall in love young.

The song title suggests maybe date rape or carnal knowledge.

But the lyric explains two young lovers were "too damn young to know any better" when they first got together to understand what is socially acceptable.


"If you think it's just a bottle / in an old brown paper sack / you don't know Jack." - You Don't Know Jack - Erin Enderley-Shane McAnally.

You Don't Know Jack should be a single but may be too dark for radio.

The song title's meaning is twofold.

Initially it's a reference to a man's struggle with the whiskey bottle - Jack Daniels.

But the lyrics also explore why people with good jobs, stable homes and lives are blind to the plight of the world's poverty paralysed people.

The homeless character reminds listeners to reflect because they don't know how difficult it is to live and sleep on the mean streets.

But there is also light relief lurking in the murky depths.

Yo, there are big copperheads and mean wild pigs and gators in the weeds in Muckalee Creek Water.

But those gators don't have the same bite as Polk Salad Annie or creator Tony Joe White.

But the album finale I Knew You That Way penned by Jay Clementi and Texan Radney Foster is a sad song about lost intimacy.

Foster's song suggests the only thing that time can't take away from this pitiful character was the special way he loved a girl.

The song is more than just booze-fuelled solace over the loss of a lover - it also explores the pain of wasted memories.

These memories should have remained alive and precious between two passionate lovers - instead of dying on the vine.

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