Brantley Gilbert: A Master of Bro-Country


Photo by Beth Caporaletti

Country music star, Brantley Gilbert, embarks on his USO tour and makes a special visit to Aviano AFB, Italy on March 20, 2013

Artist: Brantley Gilbert

Born: Brantley Keith Gilbert on January 20th, 1985 in Jefferson, Georgia

Music Career: 2005-Present

Genres: Country, bro-country

Breakout Song/Album: Country Must Be Country Wide”, Halfway to Heaven (2011)

Rating: 4/5

Starting with a question: Just what is bro-country?

Bro-country is basically country music influenced and played in styles reminiscent of rock, hard rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. One of the forefronts of the bro-country world is Jefferson, Georgia’s own Brantley Gilbert.

Gilbert, who heralds a heavier sound to his songs, as blasted in tunes like “The Weekend”, “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do”, and “One Hell of an Amen.

His latest album, The Devil Don’t Sleep, is just about as heavy as you can get in country music before it turns into full-blown rock. He does have some ballad style songs, though, although they are still decently heavy.

While Brantley Gilbert is a country force to be reckoned with, there is one small downside to his music: The man doesn’t seem to know the word “soft.”

For example, my personal favorite song of his is “One Hell of an Amen.” It’s an amazing song about the military and losing those you love. With lyrics like “Fightin’ the good fight ’til the good Lord calls you home” that hit you right in the heart, the song resonates with nearly anyone who listens to it, but it could stand to be just a bit softer.

Most of his songs start out as clear and understandable, but some more than others, morph into a mess of screaming, drum pounding, and lots… and lots… and lots of guitar solos.

Part of this rocky outlaw feel can be traced back to Gilbert’s inspirations. When he first started ripping riffs in his breakout years, there was a faint whiff of rock artists like John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, and most of all, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Southern rock stuck to Gilbert like glue and is still a huge part of his music today.

Brantley Gilbert’s dedication to guitar songs have won him “Top New Male Artist” at the ACM Award, three of his songs earned the “CMA Triple Play Award,” presented to artists with three number one songs in a 12 month period.

That being said, whether you prefer to jam out to the rock side of Brantley Gilbert or drive down a back road with the country side of him, one thing is for certain: He’s amazing, and he ain’t leaving anytime soon.