Interview: Watch Dustin Lynch Talk Touring With Keith Urban and Covering Justin Timberlake

"Weirdly enough, it works."
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It’s been a year since Dustin Lynch released his debut album and watched his single “Cowboys and Angels” climb all the way to No. 2 on on the country charts. Back then, the young Tennessee singer and songwriter was, as he puts it, “pretty green”; this year, however, he’s grown much more seasoned.

For starters, he’s had a couple more singles under his belt, and he’s busy writing songs for his second album. And since July, he’s been spending week after week out on the road with Keith Urban and Little Big Town on their Light the Fuse Tour.

Has touring with a country vet like Urban been an inspiration for Lynch? Absolutely.

“Every single night I get done with my set, I rush to get changed and get out in front of house” to watch Urban’s set, Lynch told Radio.com during a recent interview in Nashville.

And it’s been an eye-opening experience for him. “One thing I’ve learned about Keith is he’s so energetic. A lot of the songs he’s up and keeping attention on him. I’ve learned that. Don’t get trapped behind the microphone and guitar and just sit there and deliver a song. Make people want to get up and dance with you.”

Lynch may be best known for his powerhouse country ballad “Cowboys and Angels,” as well as upbeat, good-natured songs like “She Cranks My Tractor” and his latest single “Wild in Your Smile.” But that doesn’t keep him from throwing a few covers into his set–including some that are pretty far out for his fan base.

“We’ve got a little medley that we do that goes from ‘Dust on the Bottle’ into Justin Timberlake’s ‘Rock Your Body,’ and then it goes into Trey Songz’ ‘Say Aah.’” Which, Lynch admits, is “way out there…but weirdly enough, it works.”

And before you think Lynch is just mucking around, know that there’s reason for his song choices.

“There’s a lot of people who’ve seen Keith on American Idol but have never been to a country show,” Lynch said. So he plays a few songs that people know before moving into his own material. “I think it brings that fringe audience in.” And the bottom line is that he and his band are having a blast doing it. “It’s so much fun to watch peoples’ faces when we go into ‘Rock Your Body.’”

Lynch is still in the writing phase for his second album–and as he explained, he’s doing most of that writing on the bus, thanks to the busy tour schedule. But it’s clear that he’s excited about the project. He’s done a lot of living, and grown a lot as an artist, in the past year. “I’ve just seen a lot more of this country,” he said. “I have a lot more to say now.”

The Light the Fuse Tour is was recently extended to run through February 2014.

- Kurt Wolff, Radio.com