Tuesday, February 12, 2013

NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Florida Georgia Line


NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Florida Georgia Line
By Bob Doerschuk
© 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
You don’t need to know that Tyler Hubbard comes from Monroe, Ga., or that his partner in Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley, comes from Ormond Beach, Fla. It’s the music that lets you know these two guys know how to kick it in the studio and onstage, Dixie style.
Their debut album, Here’s to the Good Times,is a pastiche of prickling banjo, walloping backbeats and muscle guitar, run through a blender of Country, Southern rock and a hint of hip-hop.
Hubbard and Kelley coast over these grooves with upbeat vocals that pound their good-time message home. Every measure of their first single, “Cruise,” suggests head-bobbing and arm-waving. Written by Hubbard, Kelley, their producer Joey Moi, Chase Rice and Jesse Rice, it opens with a harmonized vocal figure, which pops with the first of several lyric hooks that made this one of the catchiest summer anthems of the year. (The “Chevy with a lift-kit” lick midway through the chorus is a lethally infectious secondary sing-along line.)
This first single from Here’s to the Good Times pretty much defines Florida Georgia Line’s party-hard feel. Even their song titles beckon listeners to join in on the fun: “Get Your Shine On” (Rodney Clawson, Kelley, Hubbard and Chris Tompkins) builds through a melodic fragment that rises, step by step, into another ear-worm chorus, this one at a steady medium tempo. “Tip It Back” (Clawson, Hubbard and Kelley) applies those three words to ball caps, long-necks and the seats in “your girlfriend’s Cadillac.”
With their smiling, deep-drawl delivery and relentlessly upbeat outlook, who could resist invitations like these?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
MUSICAL HERO
KELLEY: “Garth Brooks.”
HUBBARD: “Lil Wayne.”
BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
BOTH: “Bible.”
SONG YOU’D LOVE TO COVER
KELLEY: “‘Reckless,’ by Alabama.”
HUBBARD: “‘Tuesday’s Gone,’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
HUBBARD: “Whatever vocal my producer Joel Moi is making me practice.”
FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATON
KELLEY: “Truck.”
HUBBARD: “Motorcycle.”
DREAM DUET PARTNER
KELLEY: “Garth Brooks.”
HUBBARD: “Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge.”
ACTOR TO PORTRAY YOU IN A BIOPIC
KELLEY: “I’d have to say my cousin Stephen. He’s a great actor in L.A. and he kinda looks like me."
HUBBARD: “Taylor Kitsch of ‘Friday Night Lights.’”
ITEMS IN YOUR PERSONAL TIME CAPSULE
KELLEY: “My favorite guitar and my boots.”
HUBBARD: “My dog tag necklace.”
FIRST GIG
BOTH: “Hotel Indigo in Nashville. It was a little shaky, but we had a blast.”
GREATEST PERFORMANCE TO DATE
BOTH: “Hands down, it was our show at Joe’s Bar in Chicago because it’s a great venue and we had a sold-out, electric crowd.”
FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
KELLEY: “Anything with chicken.”
HUBBARD: “Pizza.”
PET PEEVE
KELLEY: “When people honk right when the light turns green.”
HUBBARD: “A mess of any kind.”
LUCKY CHARM
KELLEY: “It’s not a lucky charm, but I wear a necklace my dad gave me when we signed our deal. I never take if off.”
MOMENT YOU’D LOVE TO RELIVE
BOTH: “The last year of our lives. It has been unreal.”
TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
BOTH: “Enjoy the Ride.”
On the Web: FloridaGeorgiaLine.com
On Twitter: @FlaGaLine
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