LoCash admit that at one point, they thought about quitting. It was 2011, and they'd lost their song and their record label deal. Fiddle player Ryan ‘Troop’ Jones died. Chris Lucas’ dad died. Another aunt died. It was bottom of the barrel for a country duo that five years later would be celebrating their first Top 5 hit with “I Love This Life.”

The title of their hit song almost seems ironic given how they got there. Lucas and Preston Brust took a blue-collar approach to their careers, rarely saying no to a gig and turning up for every interview and appointment with smiles on their faces. Like good friend and fellow 2015 underdog Chris Janson, they scrapped and clawed their way to the top. All they had to show for it was six singles that barely charted, or didn’t.

“It just seemed like, ‘What are we doing?’” Brust says.

A phone call from Keith Urban turned them around. In the fall of that year he picked “You Gonna Fly” — a song they wrote — as a single, and that changed everything. Six months later, Tim McGraw released another of their co-writes, “Truck Yeah,” to country radio, and it became a commercial hit, going platinum for one million in sales.

Two more LoCash Cowboys (as they were then know) singles couldn’t build off their songwriting success, but them men felt inspired and assured that they still had a hit or more left in them. At Country Jam in Grand Junction, Colo., in 2014 the duo told Taste of Country they were debuting a new song that would be their first hit if another artist didn’t record it first. Several wanted “I Love This Life,” and one or two artists even put it on hold. In the end they got their song, and in early February they notched their first Top 5 single as artists.

“You just felt like maybe you were a part of something big that was about to happen, but we had always gotten stuck on the charts,” Brust says, “so you’re just kind of in the back of your mind thinking, ‘Maybe the bottom’s gonna fall out on this.’ For us, for 10 years, it always has.”

"There was an urge inside of us that just knew we never had our shot," Lucas adds. "That's kind of like cheating — you're giving up and we didn't try. We never had our shot at radio."

"I Love This Life" took nearly a year to move up the charts, and many times they did come close to losing it. There were a few things working to their advantage, however. All of those radio tours from three, five or seven years ago started paying off.

“We have a lot of friends at radio,” Lucas, the quieter of the two, says. “A lot of friends that were deejays that are now PDs. They’re gracious people and they wanted to see it succeed.”

A spin from Bobby Bones moved their song into the Top 20 at iTunes, and it never really dropped after that. That allowed more iHeartRadio stations to start playing the song, which led to more sales and airplay. More than anything, however, the song had a chance to resonate with fans. Brust recalls one fan telling him that he wakes up to the song every morning. This is a fan who’d known him for years, long before either was famous. Yes, former Major League pitcher and Buck Commander host is a fan of LoCash — he has been for years.

“This journey will never be forgotten to us,” Brust admits.

But business is business, and after a short celebration the pair are back out promoting a new single. “I Know Somebody" features Lucas on lead vocals. He says the Ross Copperman, Rhett Akins and Jeremy Stover-penned follow up is a natural progression that was “perfectly positioned for my voice.” Fans who loved “I Love This Life” should easily fall for “I Know Somebody,” and radio programmers are already spinning it without asking the duo to beg for a benefit of the doubt.

Look for LoCash on the road this summer, playing fairs and festivals including Country on the River and WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

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