Exclusive: Luke Bryan Talks New Album, Fishing, ‘Idol’ & Early Influences Like George Strait, Alabama & Ronnie Milsap

by Jacklyn Krol

Luke Bryan is focused on his fan-favorite sound with his recently released deluxe album, Born Here Live Here Die Here. The deluxe album features the 10 tracks from his 2020 studio album of the same name, with six new tracks.

During an exclusive interview with Outsider, the ACM Entertainer of the Year gave fans an inside look at how the deluxe album was born (get it?). For Luke, it was all about weaving together an album with songs that complement each other.

“It all just happened naturally with these songs,” says Luke to Outsider. “They really blended with the theme of the album so well, so it was an easy decision. Country music is all about storytelling, and that’s something that will always remain true. It is a way of life, and that is defined differently for everyone.”

Although he can’t wait to get back on the road, Luke admits that quarantining with family was a breath of fresh air. The time helped him write new music for the record. Luke had a hand in writing three of the six new tracks, including “Drink a Little Whiskey,” “Bill Dance,” and “Floatin’ This Creek.”

“The downtime was so refreshing for me creatively,” adds Luke. “I’m always busy touring, writing, and filming American Idol. When the world came to a halt, it was nice to be home and focus on time with my family. And I was thankful we were able to continue filming Idol. Overall, I feel these songs are reflective on a way of life that fits a lot of people.”

Idol Hands

Aside from his new music, Luke has been hard at work serving as a judge on American Idol alongside Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

“This season has been a whirlwind,” says Luke Bryan. “Filming and coaching have always been an incredible, rewarding experience. I couldn’t be more proud of the contestants and the producers and crew for their resilience and willingness to face so many obstacles to make the show happen in person this year. This season is one of the best yet.”

In addition, Season 19 marked the first season that a contestant’s performance moved Luke to tears. Grace Kinstler was the last performance of the day during auditions in Fall 2020. She performed a song for her father, who had recently passed away. 

However, as Luke shared, he grew up listening to country artists who could bring a tear to his eye.

“I grew up listening to George Strait, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Alan Jackson, and Alabama,” says Luke. “All of them really truly gave me a great foundation of country music.”

Luke Bryan is Huntin’ Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day 

Like the majority of the country, Luke Bryan was at home a lot during the past year. Of course, this gave him plenty of time to work on his hunting and fishing techniques. A quick scan through his social media is all the proof you need that he’s been successful.

“I think it goes without saying that everyone this past year has had to learn about patience,” he explains. “When you’re hunting and fishing, the end game is all about being patient and staying focused.”

Luke Bryan’s next personal goal is to catch a 10-pound bass. He says he “will not give up” until he catches one. His family got in on the action too. The Bryan family’s tradition is to spend weekends out on the lake fishing.

“I’ve always taken my sons out fishing,” Bryan says. “It’s just something we love to do together, and especially when I’m usually booked all throughout the year, one weekend away with the family means a lot. We always make sure to do small things like that to keep us all connected.”