Lyrics Uncovered: Luke Bryan, ‘Kick the Dust Up’
Luke Bryan's "Kick the Dust Up" lyrics are some of the most fun at country radio, which has helped make the song a summertime smash.
The song came about through a writing session between Dallas Davidson, Ashley Gorley and Chris DeStefano, three of the most recognized songwriters in contemporary country music.
"We always try to push the boundaries as much as we can," DeStefano tells Taste of Country. "A lot of times it kind of starts with us having an idea. Sometimes it's a vibe, sometimes it's a beat, or a lot of times it's a banjo riff or something."
The trio thought about a couple of other ideas before they settled in to work in earnest. "But we wanted to push ourselves even further," he recalls. "We came up with that groove and that little intro riff that you hear, and it had the right energy for what we were looking for. Then the melody started coming, and I can't remember if it was Dallas or Ashley that ended up throwing out the term 'kick the dust up,' but we knew it right away, 'All right, that feels right, let's run with that. That's perfect.'"
We each have our hands in everything, and I think that's what's so great about the process, is that anything that one of us is hearing, we can pretty much make happen on the spot.
Having worked together before, they each contributed to the lyrics, melody and chord structure of the song. "Ashley and Dallas and I have such a great synergy in the room, a lot of times I'll be working up the music or the track while they're digging into lyrics, and then I'll kinda turn around and throw my two cents in, and contribute, whether it be melodically or lyrically," DeStefano relates. "And then sometimes they'll throw in ideas track-wise. We each have our hands in everything, and I think that's what's so great about the process, is that anything that one of us is hearing, we can pretty much make happen on the spot."
This is one instance in which the writers were writing the "Kick the Dust Up" lyrics with the artist specifically in mind.
"We were definitely thinking of Luke," DeStefano confirms. "Luke can do so many things, but I feel like as far as this particular energy, and what this kind of song has, we heard Luke on it from the get-go. You're really focused on the song itself, just writing the strongest you can for the topic, but you're also conscious of, if there's a line that comes up, Luke might not say that, and maybe we'll search for something better."
The song perfectly captures Bryan's particular good-time feel, with enough of a twist musically to stand out from his other efforts in the same vein. But the "Kick the Dust Up" lyrics shoot right down the lyrical center of his audience: "We go way out where there ain't nobody / We turn this cornfield into a party / Pedal to the floorboard, eight up in a four door, burnin' up a back road song / Park it and we pile out / Baby, watch your step now / Better have your boots on / Kick the dust up."
Bryan not only cut the song, he released it as the lead single from his new album, Kill the Lights, and even named his summer tour after it. "It's kind of surreal," DeStefano reflects. "I certainly don't take these things for granted. I feel very blessed to be a part of a great team with Dallas and Ashley, and blessed with their friendship and all that they bring. It really is a great synergy, and to have Luke cut it and release it as a first single, we're all very excited about it."
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