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Story Behind the Song: Luke Bryan, ‘Kick the Dust Up’

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On Oct. 15, Nashville-based music biographer Jake Brown will release Nashville Songwriter II: The Inside Stories Behind Country Music’s Greatest Hits. The followup publication to Brown’s 2014 release Nashville Songwriter, the book chronicles the creation of more than 300 No. 1 country hits, including Luke Bryan‘s “Kick the Dust Up.”

Written by Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley and Dallas Davidson, “Kick the Dust Up” was released in May of 2015, as the lead single from Bryan’s fifth studio album, Kill the Lights. The song became Bryan’s 10th consecutive No. 1 song — his 13th overall — as well as a platinum-selling track and the namesake of Bryan’s 2015 tour.

DeStefano spoke with Brown for Nashville Songwriter II to share the story behind “Kick the Dust Up.” Read on for a peek into their conversation, or press play above to watch DeStefano discuss the track and give an acoustic performance of the hit.

Without question, I mean, we always try to push the bar. We always try to raise the bar — keep it country, but raise the bar. And, you know, that’s what we were thinking.

Obviously, we had — Dallas and I, and Ashley had — written [Bryan’s 2013 hit] “That’s My Kind of Night.” We knew that was, you know, again, pushing the bar, if you will, and that’s kind of what we wanted to do, but we didn’t want to do the same thing. We wanted to do something kind of different — different feel, different lyrical content — and we had gotten on a couple ideas that day that, you know, we liked, and we were like, “Okay, this could be [it].” And, you know, again, always just trying to raise it up, so we ended up gettin’ on “Kick the Dust Up” and just started playing this riff …

Then Ashley and Dallas were like, “Alright, alright, let’s write that. That’s gonna be fun,” and so they started. You know, they’ve been known to just freestyle lyrics, so they started just rolling with these awesome lyrical ideas and melodies and stuff.

And we wrote it. And, again, it’s one of those things that’s like, of course we were thinking Luke, but it was also like, “Let’s just write the strongest song that we can about this and in the most creative way we can think.”

I live in a condo building downtown, so I don’t live in the country, but, you know, Ashley and Dallas, I mean, they both live in the country — they live it. Luke does; you know, he lives just outside of Nashville on a beautiful property. And that’s what they do: They live in the country. The things that are happening in that song are things that, that’s life; that’s just life.

I’ll go out and I’ll hang with them and do those sorts of things, but it really was just about their real life and the things that they do. You know, it’s like, you just go out, have a good time out in the country, and it doesn’t get better.

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