Florida Georgia Line Prep Everything New for New Year

Brian Kelley Tells CMT "It's Our Most Country Record"

Immediately after hearing the news that Florida Georgia Line had a name and date for their next album release, I got on the phone with the duo’s Brian Kelley to get all the details.

Here’s what we already knew:

Their fourth studio album will be released on February 15.

It’s called Can’t Say I Ain’t Country.

They will kick off a tour of the same name in May.

And here’s what else we know now:

“Everything kind of circles back around, and your ear needs a break sometimes,” Kelley told me when we talked about the throwback vibe of some of the new music. “But those 90s songs never get old. I could listen to old 90s country all the time. You know?

“I think it was the songs, but it was also just the artists: Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Jo Dee Messina, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, George Strait, and Brooks & Dunn. It was the realness. And their voices. Alan Jackson will always do it for me. And there was just something about the craft of the songwriting back then.”

We also talked about where this one fits in with the duo’s last three studio albums. “It’s not necessarily a comeback. It’s more so a nod to our 90s country roots really, to be honest, with an FGL flair. That’s the majority of the record.”

“It’s our most country record,” he said, “and we’re super excited about it and pumped to get this out.”

In a press release, Kelley had said of the album title, “You can say a lot of things. You can call somebody a lot of different names and have a lot of different opinions, but at the end of the day, when it comes to me and Tyler, you can’t say we ain’t country.”

And it’s not just the album that makes that bold statement that you can’t say they ain’t country, he said. There’s a song on the album with the same name. “Once you hear the song, the album title and the song will make a lot of sense. The perspective that we took writing it is just super fun. The way the song is done is positive and hilarious and cool and really well done.” Kelley wrote the song with FGL’s Tyler Hubbard, along with Michael Hardy, and Corey Crowder.

There’s also a collaboration with the band’s buddy Jason Aldean. And while Kelley wasn’t willing to reveal the name of that song, he did tell me it was: awesome, rockin’, aggressive, loud, a banger, and a really really big anthem.

“Aldean really makes that song come to life,” he told me, “and I think people are going to be surprised when they hear it.”

The Grammy-nominated duo will wrap up their residency in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Tuesday (Dec. 11) and will head to Australia for a string of shows in March 2019.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.
@alisonbonaguro