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Hook & Barrel
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Sometimes people drink to try and drown out a fresh heartache. But on the flip side, there may be a sense of freedom that comes with the end of a relationship. That’s the idea behind Dustin Lynch’s upbeat new album, “Party Mode.”

The song has a lively feel and what sounds like the sure-footed swing and sway of a seasoned bar band. It’s the kind of music you might hope to catch in person when you’re out on the town with a new reason to party.

“You go through a breakup, and it sucks,” Dustin Lynch explains, “but then you get through those weeds and you realize, ‘Man, this is kind of a breath of fresh air and an exciting new chapter.’”

This peppy lead-off track to his brand-new album, Blue in the Sky, is ripe for hearty crowd sing-alongs on Dustin Lynch’s upcoming Party Mode Tour, which starts up next month. It’s the Nashville hit maker’s first major outing since before the pandemic grounded him almost two years ago. The unexpected down time gave him and longtime producer Zach Crowell more hours in the studio to carefully craft and hone these 12 songs.

Dustin Lynch sounds confident and assured on his fifth full-length record, and he should. The 36-year-old country star has been on a constantly rising path since his Platinum breakout hit in 2012, “Cowboys and Angels.” The new album comes on the heels of his six weeks at the top of the country charts with “Thinking ‘Bout You,” a powerful duet with Canadian singer and actress MacKenzie Porter. In his first decade as a recording artist, Lynch has racked up eight number-one songs on the country charts, including three from his previous album, Tullahoma.

Despite the uplifting mood of the new single, it’s not all fun and games on Blue in the Sky. He gets his heart buried in the sand on “Break It On A Beach,” in which he bemoans that his lover chose to end things at one of their favorite places. Thankfully, on “Tequila On A Boat,” he’s rebounding quickly with a new love interest and a refreshing beverage.

He doesn’t voice any regrets in the yearning “Summer Never Ended,” but thinks life would be even better with more time in the sun. It’s one of a few songs that allude to Dustin Lynch’s real-life love of spending time outdoors. In the reflective “Somethin’ That Makes You Smile,” he reminds listeners to make time for more meaningful activities. “Those little things ain’t little things,” he sings. “Those little things are everything.”

Dustin Lynch hits the cover of Hook & Barrel in July of 2020 upon the release of his last album.

Personally, his many indulgences include boating, skiing, and surfing. He also loves spending time with his friends and family, he says, lately teaching his nieces and nephews to hunt and fish. Another diversion for Dustin Lynch is his home away from home, a farm of more than 500 acres that’s about a 40-minute drive from Nashville. He talked about it extensively in our July-August 2020 feature profile. He continues to consult with specialists on improving the habitat to attract deer and turkeys.

“It’s a blessing, at this point in my career, that I was able to have that place to go and hang out when I was off the road,” he says, “and I know I’m going to need it as a re-set this year, since we’re back to being so busy.”

The new album, he says, has a positive vibe overall, and that’s the message he and his band are taking on the road. “That’s why we called it Blue in the Sky. We all have a choice on our outlook. You’re either in the clouds or you’re celebrating the blue up there. And for me, that’s what I’m doing right now, personally and professionally. I’m excited about life, and that’s a really good spot to be in.” 



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