Country Jukebox Jury LP: Luke Bryan – Born Here Live Here Die Here (Deluxe Edition)

In the olden days Luke Bryan used to bring out a Spring Break EP every March, back when teenagers listened to his music. Today, in his forties, he is a legacy artist who pops up with Lionel and Katy and Bobby on American Idol. Thus, predictably, he adds tracks to his 2020 album Born Here Live Here Die Here – already packed with four number one hits – to prolong its shelf life. You can read the review of the original record here.

Of the six newies, we were dripfed Country Does – which is another Shane McAnally composition about corn and family and mud and a rhyme of ‘kinfolks with take-it-on-the-chin folks’ – and Drink A Little Whiskey Down, which is Drink A Beer with a different potable.

Waves, written by three chaps including Ryan Hurd, is middle of the dirt road smooch of a song which compares a lady to stars, water and the summer. There’s a patented Michael Carter guitar solo in the middle which woke me up, and the whole point of the song is that it licks you like an ocean spray. Perhaps it was too similar to much of the original release to take its place there last year but it’s a good piece of Adult Contemporary Country.

Up is not a Cardi B cover but a song that uses the word to inspire requests for rain, holding a beer up to the sky where there’s a guy ‘looking down on us’ and, above all, celebrating a ‘way to grow up’. There is a Michael Carter guitar solo in the middle of it.

Bill Dance is a Peach Pickers song: Akins-Bryan-Davidson-Hayslip, the band back together. We get country references – ‘green and tan Plano’, ‘that old sawmill’, ‘zoom black and red flake’ and the good old ‘Muckalee’ – and two mighty chords running throughout the song. It turns out that Bill Dance is a famous host of a fishing show on the Outdoor Channel, ‘a large mouth legend in a Tennessee hat’. The Best of the Peach Pickers is a hell of a catalogue and this one is a worthy addition. Bill himself called it a ‘humbling tribute. For once in my life I’m speechless!’

I can’t believe there hasn’t been a Luke Bryan song called Floatin’ This Creek (‘and taking it slow’). There are shards of harmonica poking out, at which point I realise that these extra tracks is a smart way to release a spring break EP by stealth. Smart Luke. He’s also on TV at the moment so go watch American Idol. Kinda sucks but he gotta make a dollar, to paraphrase this song’s middle eight, although he refers to his character, a construction worker digging a ditch.

Aka A Luke Bryan Fan.

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