OFFSTAGE: Lee Brice Has Made My Year

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Lee Brice had me at 89 cents in the ashtray. The second I heard that opening lyric to “I Drive Your Truck,” I knew exactly what it was going to be about. And I fell in love. Like, crazy stupid love. The kind that makes me want to scream to anyone listening, “See, now this is why country music is the best music.” So many people belittle this genre by claiming it’s all just about pickup trucks. And, granted, we are guilty of a few too many of those “you’re hot, now get in the truck.” So when I heard the title of this tune, I kind of thought, “Here we go again.” But when I actually listened to it? Well, let’s just say that now I can’t stop listening to it. It’s about this guy who drives his brother’s truck after his brother dies. It’s his way of coping. And he keeps the truck just the way his brother left it. With the change in the ashtray, the half-empty bottle of Gatorade on the floor and the dog tags hanging from the rear view mirror. So he drives his brother’s truck and leaves the radio playing the same old country station where he left it. As sad as this song is, it ends my 2012 in such a happy way. Because it reminds me of why I chose to make a living out of loving country music.