How Luke Bryan’s Guitar Player Got on the “Roller Coaster”

For nearly 20 years, Michael Carter has been playing Luke Bryan’s songs. And now Byran is singing one of Carter’s.

Bryan’s latest hit, “Roller Coaster,” was written by Carter (his longtime guitar player) and Cole Swindell (his former merch guy).

Carter told Billboard magazine how great it feels to have his boss singing a tune he wrote.

“We’ve played together for about 19 years. Now to be up there and play one that I wrote and listen to him sing it every night is about as cool as it can get,” Carter said.

Carter joined Bryan’s band long before his debut album I’ll Stay Me was released in 2007.

Carter and Swindell wrote “Roller Coaster” when they were hanging out on Bryan’s bus years ago during one of his early Farm tours. But it wasn’t until 2013 that Bryan recorded it for his Crash My Party album. Carter has another cut on that album called “Beer in the Headlights,” and he wrote one for Bryan’s 2011 Tailgates & Tanlines album titled “Faded Away.” Plus, he’s written at least seven songs on Bryan’s series of Spring Break releases.

With “Roller Coaster,” Carter definitely wanted to give it a melody that people could sing back to Bryan every night.

“I don’t know if we could live with ourselves if we wrote a song called ’Roller Coaster’ and then it’s complicated melodies, twisting and turning, going all over the place where people can’t even sing along to it,” Carter said.

Bryan knew, right when he heard the demo, that it was his kind of song.

“The second I heard it, I just thought, ’Man, I gotta record this thing.’ It had all the perfect attributes to a great single,” Bryan said, adding that when he’s recording a song he didn’t write, such as this one, “the best thing to do is really, really live with the song to where singing them is second nature.”