Luke Bryan is here to settle the “what is and isn’t country” debate. And he’s doing it on his new single appropriately titled “What Makes You Country.” (Note the very intentional absence of a question mark).
In the tune, Bryan makes a point that being “country” is as simple as feeling country. In the chorus, he sings “It might not have been you, but I can’t judge; just be proud of what makes you country.”
But he also makes it pretty clear that he’s got that stereotypical “country cred.” Like riding tractors and being from Georgia and fishing on boats and all that.
“I think with so many labels out there, everybody gets real defensive about well, are you real country?” Bryan told Good Morning America. “This song kind of talks about how it doesn’t matter where you’re from. You know, if you like to go horseback riding once a year, well that makes you country.”
Bryan wrote the tune with Dallas Davidson and Ashley Gorley, frequent co-writers who helped shape Bryan’s bro country career. And it makes sense they want to back up their own “country cred,” since their rise to prominence coincided with one of the most tumultuous identity crises in country music’s long history.
Bryan also announced his new album What Makes You Country comes out on Dec. 8. To celebrate, Bryan’s team is going around and asking fans from all walks of life, “What makes you country?” Answers range from birthplace, to growing up with goats, to simply loving the music.
Bryan co-wrote seven of the 15 songs on the upcoming album. And as you’d expect with a superstar like Bryan, the other writers reads like a who’s who of bro country royalty.
1. “What Makes You Country” (Bryan, Dallas Davidson, Ashley Gorley)
2. “Out Of Nowhere” (Bryan, Davidson, Gorley)
3. “Light It Up” (Bryan, Brad Tursi)
4. “Most People Are Good” (David Frasier, Ed Hill, Josh Kear)
5. “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” (Zach Crowell, Ryan Hurd, Chase McGill)
6. “Bad Lovers” (Davidson, Kyle Fishman, Justin Wilson)
7. “Drinking Again” (David Lee Murphy, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
8. “Land Of A Million Songs” (Bryan, Jeff Stevens, Jody Stevens)
9. “Like You Say You Do (Bryan, Gorley, Michael Carter)
10. “Hooked On It” (Bryan, Davidson, Murphy)
11. “She’s A Hot One” (Carter, McGill)
12. “Hungover In A Hotel Room” (Rodney Clawson, Chris Tompkins, Josh Kear)
13. “Pick It Up” (Bryan, Clawson, Matthew Dragstrem)
14. “Driving This Thing” (Akins, Ben Hayslip, Jody Stevens)
15. “Win Life” (Clawson, Ross Copperman, Nicolle Galyon)