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Brantley Gilbert readying 3rd album as he opens for Tim McGraw (Usana on June 14)

Published May 17, 2013 2:30 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tim McGraw headlines the first country show at Usana Amphitheatre on June 14, with Love & Theft and Brantley Gilbert opening.

The latter is a 28-year-old singer-songwriter who has not only charted two No. 1 country songs, ""Country Must Be Country Wide" and "You Don't Know Her Like I Do," but wrote fellow Georgian Jason Aldean's chart-toppers "My Kinda Party" and "Dirt Road Anthem" (co-written with Colt Ford).

In a phone interview, Gilbert said his childhood in small-town Jefferson, Georgia was full of hunting, fishing and dirt-bike riding until he picked up the guitar. "It was always therapeutic for me," he said of the guitar. Plus, he added, "it helped with the ladies."

Gilbert, who said it didn't hurt when Aldean's covers of his songs became massive hits, saw a big boost and headlined his first tour, "Hell on Wheels," late last year.

When not opening for McGraw this summer, he in the studio with veteran producer Dann Huff (who played guitar on Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" and "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," as well as Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On") recording his third album.

Every song on the album, Gilbert said, will be written by himself.

"All my stories are real life," he said. "I never sit down to write hit songs." They just happen.

When • Friday, June 14, at 7 p.m.Where • Usana Amphitheatre, 5150 S. 6055 West, Salt Lake CityTickets • $30.50-$70.25 at SmithsTix.com