LIMA — Country music star Dustin Lynch will be playing next weekend at the Allen County Fair with Neal McCoy.
Lynch grew up in Tennessee and, naturally, listened to country music as a youngster.
“My parents were heavily into country radio and I think I really started listening to those songs just being out, going to and from hunting and fishing with Dad and riding around with Mom, but also we always had music on in the house. I love working outside with my dad, whether it was in the barn or on a truck or race car or boat or something, so there was always that music in the background. I think that’s really where I started falling in love with it. It spoke to me, it spoke of the life growing up, learning to live, and that’s pretty much how I got started with it,” said Lynch.
He moved to Nashville in 2003, right out of high school.
“It was a pretty scary jump. I didn’t have anyone in town, and definitely no one in the music industry that could hold my hand getting me started. So I was just by myself up there trying to get started by myself,” said Lynch.
His break came from posting his music on social media.
“I got a phone call that was one of the biggest turning points for me. I got a phone call from a manager Pete Hartung. I was working a day job and playing. I had already started taking meetings with publishers around town, but he came across my music online through a recommendation from his son-in-law, and gave me a call out of nowhere and asked if I would come out to his house and play him a couple of songs. I was very hesitant of course, but I went over and did it and the next thing you know we had a meeting with the record label in town. That’s kind of cool how that all happened,” said Lynch.
The rest, as they say is history. Lynch has toured with the likes of Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Chris Young. Still there is one country music artist that Lynch calls one of his heroes, that he hasn’t met. That elusive hero is Alan Jackson.
“I would say one of my heroes that I haven’t met yet is Alan Jackson. He’s one of those guys that he keeps pretty much to himself even when I see him at award shows and things. It’s one of those deals where I just want to shake his hand and say I’ve done it. I had the pleasure of meeting with George Strait and Garth Brooks. Those are my three main guys,” said Lynch.
Another star he has met that he can’t say enough nice things about is Reba McEntire.
“Speaking of timeless. She’s done it all on top of being one of the sweetest humans I’ve ever met. It’s amazing to me how she just absolutely excels in any venture she tries, whether it’s music or acting or clothing line, you name it she’s doing it. She’s doing the absolute best at it. That’s very inspiring,” said Lynch.
Lynch himself has launched his own clothing line, Stay Country, and he has other aspirations too, much like Reba. He would eventually like to get into acting.
“I would love to. That would be a field that would take a lot of work and I think one day I would like to try and go after it and see how I do. You look at the success that Tim McGraw’s had in that world, and it’s been pretty amazing. He set the bar high. That would be roles that he’s been in that would be really fun to do,” said Lynch.
In the meantime, Lynch is content to be touring, singing and writing.
“It’s been really cool to see how the town has really kind of huddled around us and started to really wanting to be a part of what we’re doing. On top of me writing 100-plus songs for this next album, I’ve got literally thousands of songwriters sending me songs that they’ve written. It’s one of those things where I always try and learn from those ahead of me. And two of my heroes, Garth Brooks and George Strait have always preached, ‘Record the best songs you can get your hands on. There’s so many great songwriters in the world, you can’t do it all.’ And so I do like to listen and record those other songs as well, one, I know I’m getting a legit gut reaction because I have nothing to do with the song, I’m always scared of a song that I’ve written because I like it, it’s kind of nice to have that initial, ‘oh my gosh this sounds so good’ when it’s not yours,” said Lynch.
Lynch tries to write on the bus when he’s out touring. When he’s home, he’s usually taping or recording a song. He enjoys being outdoors when he has down time, too.
“When I do have some down time it’s a lot being outside. It’s all about getting out and exploring the outdoors. I love to hunt, I love to fish, I love to surf. I love being outside and I love fresh air. That’s what I’m chasing down. I’m chasing down that reset button, that recharge that only the sun can give you,” said Lynch.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511