Sometimes good can come out of something bad. Brantley Gilbert had an epiphany after he was in a serious car accident in 2005.
“That put everything in perspective for me,” Gilbert said. “You never think that’s going to happen to you. You think you’re young and indestructible. I realized that I have no idea how long I have.”
If Gilbert, 29, didn’t know it before, it was evident that he was all in for a career as a musician. Before starting college, Gilbert thought it might be all about football.
“But music was what I’m most passionate about,” Gilbert said.
Well, it’s worked out for the singer-songwriter. Gilbert has three singles that have topped the country charts: “Country Must Be Country Wide,” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” and “Bottoms Up.”
“It’s a great feeling to have a song be embraced by fans,” Gilbert said. “I’ve been so fortunate.”
Gilbert sounds convincing since he writes the songs for himself and his peers. He has penned two chart toppers for Jason Aldean. “My Kinda Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem” earn roars during Aldean’s live shows.
“I love to write,” Gilbert said. “It’s a passion of mine. You never know what’s going to happen when you write. When we were writing ‘Dirt Road Anthem,’ it was a bit of a joke at first, and it turned into this song that people just ate up. I love writing.”
The laid-back Gilbert also loves to perform. He’s energetic performing live and engages with his audience. Even though his songs have topped the country chart, Gilbert has an affinity for rock.
He grew up just outside the capital of quirky rock – Athens, Ga. – which gave birth to the B-52s, R.E.M. and the late bard Vic Chesnutt.
“I do love rock,” Gilbert said. “I’m a fan, and I think you can say that some of my songs are pretty rockin.’ ”
The anthemic “Kick It in the Sticks” is full of big, bold guitar riffs. But he balances out the muscular songs with sensitive ballads such as “My Kind of Crazy” and “Fall Into Me.”
“What I do runs across the spectrum,” Gilbert said. “I can’t just make one kind of music.”
Gilbert would like to co-write with some rockers. “I think it would be cool to write with someone like Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional,” Gilbert said. “I like co-writing. I like challenging myself.”
There’s plenty of time for Gilbert to challenge himself since he has yet to reach 30.
“I’m still young,” Gilbert said. “I have a lot that I still have yet to accomplish. It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds.”