Dustin Lynch made his Opry debut just a few weeks ago on March 2, but he’s headed back this Friday, March 23!
“That was the most exciting moment of my life,” Dustin told us backstage after his Opry debut. “As I stepped into the circle, I told everyone that my greatest dream just came true.”
He’s among the new artists Billboard‘s calling one of the “Most Anticipated Debuts of 2012.” Dustin is from Tullahoma, TN, only 90 minutes away from the heart of Nashville. When it came time for college, he moved closer into the city to attend David Lipscomb University – partly because the school is less than 2 miles from the Bluebird Café, one of Nashville’s premier songwriters clubs. Eventually, he moved into one of the apartments behind the Bluebird’s back parking lot, and would walk over several nights a week to watch and learn from established songwriters.
“I moved up here chasing a wild dream,” he said. “Every chance I had I was at Bluebird Café soaking in writers rounds. That place has always had a special spot in my heart just like the Opry. But it seemed like every time I played the Bluebird very short after something special would happen. It’s crazy how that worked out.”
Click play below to hear what it was like.
It must have paid off. He was so excited that he’d reached a “dream come true” on his debut night that he kissed the circle – literally.
“After my last performance, I had to kiss it. I leaned over to kiss the circle, and it was great. I had to live it up while I was out there as my first time. You never forget your first night at the Opry. And it seemed like the crowd liked it. Sorry if I wasn’t supposed to kiss the floor. John Conlee asked for a mop after I walked off, I heard him. It was funny,” Dustin said.
He must not have broken any major rules because he’s been invited back for a second time this Friday night on a show that also includes performances from Restless Heart, Marty Stuart, Joe Diffie, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy C. Newman and more. He’ll play right alongside the legends that make the Opry so special to him.
“What’s so important to me about the Opry and why it’s been such a dream of mine is that so many of my idols have come across the stage,” he said. “Getting to meet Jimmy C. Newman and to actually get to shake his hand and talk to him for a second was awesome. Growing up and watching the Opry, he was one of my favorites because he’s got the alligators on his guitar and I just fell in love with that guy. John Conlee made me super comfortable. I asked him for advice before I went out there, and we had a great conversation before and after. And of course, Little Jimmy Dickens, wow. I opened up for Jimmy Dickens, that’s pretty crazy. Legends. Absolute legends. That’s what the Opry is about to me. To actually get to play the stage with those guys tonight.”
Dustin’s debut single, “Cowboys and Angels” already has a story of it’s own with how it was written.
“‘Cowboys and Angels’ was my first single on the radio and it’s had a great story already,” Dustin said. “Even before it was written, I had the idea for awhile and I knew it was a special song idea. I wanted to make sure I wrote it with the right guys in town. I went in to my first co-write ever with Tim Nichols and Josh Leo, two outstanding songwriters and very successful in town. Just to meet those guys, I was excited. When I got to the co-write, Tim asked me what I wanted to write, and I was so nervous I kind of passed it on to him, and he passed it back. After awhile, he said, ‘I’ve had this song idea for awhile I don’t know if you’ll like it, but it’s called ‘Cowboys and Angels.” We had the same idea the same morning. At that moment, we compared notes, and sure enough both had it written down. We knew it was a gift from the sky and that song was supposed to be written that day. We didn’t realize it would be my first song to radio, of course, but it has changed my life, and I can’t wait to see how the story ends with that song.”
While the single is only a hint of what fans can expect from Dustin in the future, he’s currently recording his debut album and hopes to release it sometime this summer.
“We’ve been writing for a few years, and really the last few years we’ve been honing in on the sound we now have for this record,” Dustin says of the album. “It’s a sound that I think fits a slot that’s not out there right now on radio and that’s the feedback we’ve been getting.”