Kicking up some dust: A few words with Luke Bryan

Kicking up some dust: A few words with Luke Bryan

PESOTUM — Big-time country is coming to a small town and a nearby field Sept. 28.

It's Luke Bryan's way of paying back, like his hit "Here's To The Farmer." In the "#HeresToTheFarmer" campaign, nearly 2 million meals have been donated and $140,000 went to area food banks and local farmers in each of the tour cities.

So far, there are six locations on the 2018 Luke Bryan Farm Tour. Here are six questions for the star:

A little more than 500 people live in Pesotum, making it the smallest stop on this year's tour (Irwin, Ohio, is the second smallest, checking in around 630). What brought you to Pesotum specifically, and what's the most rewarding part of coming to small towns?

Our team looks for small towns where people usually have to drive hours to see a big concert. We targeted the Champaign area, as we try to stay close to colleges where we donate our Farm Tour Scholarship, and Pesotum had everything we were looking for — great people, welcoming local officials and a farm big enough to host our show.

You were born in Leesburg, Ga., and grew up helping your dad with his peanut farm and fertilizer business — when you come to small farm towns like Pesotum, does it feel familiar or like coming home at all?

Each stop on the Farm Tour reminds me of home. My team puts a lot of time and consideration into every detail so we bring the best possible show to the people in those small towns.

Your single 'Most People Are Good' contains a pro-LGBTQ-love lyric, and the music video shows a montage of same-gender families and gay couples. The song has largely dominated country-music radio this year, which might be a surprise to those who wouldn't expect that. What struck you about that song and its lyrics, and why do you believe now was the right time for it?

This might be one of the best songs I've ever recorded. I think it's a song that will help people believe in people again. We get reminded every day of all the negativity of what humans can be, but it's really only 0.001 percent of the population causing all the negativity. This song preaches the beauty of innocence for children, mommas and relationships. Just be good to one another.

Another single, 'Pick It Up,' is about fatherhood and the relationship you have with your sons. In it, you mention leaving a fishing rod by the Bible, along with a Ronnie Milsap album on vinyl. Was there a particular album you had in mind while writing that lyric, and if so, what do you hope your sons take from it?

It's just the ultimate father/son song. It's how I live my life. I try to put things I love around my boys and not force it on them. They will pick it up if they want to. Caroline and I try to keep them in a positive atmosphere and let them be themselves. We hope they pick up the good stuff that Dad does.

What's it been like to work with Katy Perry and Lionel Richie on "American Idol"?

We are truly relishing the show. I think we each bring a unique perspective to the table and honestly want to help these kids achieve their dreams. In some cases, even though that may be sharing they need to dig in a little more and come back another time that's ok. It's a part of their growth to define who they are as an artist.

What's your favorite place to grab food when you're in the Midwest?

We love to shop the local areas for what the towns are known for to cook on site at each stop.

If you go

What: Luke Bryan Farm Tour 2018.

Where: Atkins Farm, 930 County Road 300 North, Pesotum.

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 28.

Tickets: $51 in advance, or $60 at the gate. Parking is $5 in advance or $20 that day. Once the show sells out, no tickets will be sold at the gate.

The schedule

Luke Bryan has been doing farms for 10 years: "Our goal was to bring big-city production concerts into these small towns across the U.S. giving those communities the opportunity to attend shows that would never come their way."

Sept. 27 — Ayars Farm, Columbus, Ohio

Sept. 28 — Atkins Farm, Pesotum

Sept. 29 — Ziel Farm, Boone, Iowa

Oct. 4 — Whitehurst Cattle Company, Archer, Fla.

Oct. 5 — Misty Morning Farms, North Augusta, S.C.

Oct. 6 — Doug Yates Farms, Ringgold, Ga.