When Brantley Gilbert hit town, he wanted to make a kind of Country music that represented where he came from: rough, straightforward, proud of where he lives, aggressive when need be, vulnerable when called for. With Brantley’s The Valory Music Co. debut, Halfway To Heaven, well-past Platinum, Just As I Am joins it with over one million scans – making the tattooed songwriter from Jefferson, Georgia one of the rare back-to-back Platinum sellers in the genre.
At the CMA Awards radio remotes at the Music City Center, The Valory Music Co. SVP Promotion George Briner surprised the man whose Just As I Am won the 2015 American Music Award for Best Country Album with the news.
“I’d been waiting to hear we hit a million,” Brantley said. “Because I can tell the way people respond to these songs live. ‘One Hell Of An Amen’ really hits them, and when people feel a song like that, you know it’s a part of their lives.”
Anchored by the chart-topping “One Hell Of An Amen” and 2X Platinum-certified “Bottoms Up,” Brantley saw “Stone Cold Sober” take a nine spot jump to 34 with a bullet on Monday’s radio chart. Written with Augustana’s Dan Layus and Brett James, the lean mid-tempo considers the things that should be said clearheaded in a decidedly masculine fashion. It is that forthright delivery that’s made Brantley a favorite of men and women alike.
“Country music isn’t only what it used to be…,” says Brantley. “It’s all that, and it’s a whole lot more. It’s everything living life where I came up is. It’s a little more hardcore, a little harder hitting, little bit more rock – but it’s got that same to the bone real thing. To me, this music’s how you dig in, and how you play that really makes it the kind of Country this is. It’s not for everybody listening to the radio, but it’s for an awful lot of people living the life. Wherever they are, I just wanna reach’em and give them some songs they can live by.”
They’re doing more than living, they’re digging in – and they’re looking for claim their place in the world. Not looking for trouble, they’re not going to back down from a fight, and that’s helped Just As I Am become the third best-selling Country album of 2014 and the fourth best-selling Country album so far this year.
Starting the North American leg of the BLACK OUT TOUR January 28 in Saginaw, Michigan, the domestic run will include 27 shows. That leg will be interrupted for Brantley to go to Queensland, Australia for the CMC Rocks QLD at Willowbank Raceway on March 12. Other than that, it’s arenas where the fans can let off some steam, hear their truths and come together as a community in the name of an artist who sings them their life.