Granger Smith Says New Song ‘That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads’ Took On A ‘Deeper’ Meaning After Son’s Passing

Granger Smith is opening up about returning to music following the tragic loss of his son.

Back in August, the country singer announced his upcoming record Country Things Vol. 1 via Instagram, writing, “this is my 10th studio album and I feel like it’s also my best.”

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A LONG road got me to this post. . A lot of life has happened these past 20 months and on & off, through it all, I’ve been hunkered up in my little home studio singing about it. Sometimes I use music to forget about life. Sometimes I use it to remember it. Most times I use it to feel the emotions deeper. I think we all kinda do that. . All that to say, this is my 10th studio album and I feel like it’s also my best. (Including Vol 2 coming later) My hope is that these tunes…from the light hearted windows down songs, to the more deep thinkin’ ones, connect with you like they do with me. . I’m releasing 2 of my favorites tonight (8.27) so tag a friend and lemme know if we’re on the right track! . If you really want to be able to help an artist like me in this modern music world, go to wherever it is you find music (link in bio) and pre-save, pre-add, pre-order stream it off your phone and CRANK IT UP! Love y’all. Yee Yee! #countrythings #September25

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“My hope is that these tunes…from the light hearted windows down songs, to the more deep thinkin’ ones, connect with you like they do with me,” he added.

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The singer’s forthcoming project is part one of his two-part studio album, which gives fans a glimpse of his family’s current country state of mind throughout the eight tracks and even includes an appearance from his alter-ego Earl Dibbles Jr.

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Happy Birthday Earl! . 9 years ago today, my brothers @tylersmith11, @parker__smith and I were promoting my 6th album “Poets & Prisoners.” We were leaning heavy on YouTube and putting out a lot of videos hoping to get something viral. . Cue @earldibblesjr. We filmed the original video in a few hours, I edited it in about an hour, and we were live on YouTube not long after. I had no idea what this would become, BUT I do know that we laughed until we cried while filming and again while editing. . I’m grateful for the magic that happened that hot July day. I’m grateful for the creative release that writing songs for him gives me and even more for the smiles I get from him in return. . Happy birthday Earl! (ps- I’m pretty sure this is an unreleased photo from 2012)

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Despite growing up in Dallas, Smith says he’s choosing to “fully embrace” the country way of life, telling ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey, “Especially this day in age, I really appreciate concentrating on the simpler things that really matter.”

“I will say, I do fully endorse the lifestyle: Our office is in the middle of the country, where we live is out in the country, I’m raising my children in the country,” he adds.

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The 41-year-old was in the midst of creating his new project, but the unexpected passing of his 3-year-old son in 2019 put all his plans on hold. In the following months, the mourning of his little boy changed the way he heard his music, and his new track “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” took on a “deeper, underlying meaning.”

“I cancelled the studio appointment to cut that song and a few months later after the tragedy, I went back and revisited that song and it took on a new meaning,” he recalls. “The lyrics spoke differently than they did before.”

“Talk to God on ’em / We get lost on ’em / Find our way to a rocky mountain top on ’em,” he sings in the mid-tempo chorus.

Looking back on his family’s journey and healing throughout the past year, Smith says he’s “just really focusing on the things that matter and living in the present, at least being aware of the present moment and that tomorrow is not guaranteed.”

He adds: “We always get in this rat race of — especially in the music business — the next album, the next single, the next tour, the next year, it’s always planning for the next and less concentrating on what we have today and the blessing that today and the present moment is to us.”

Country Things Vol. 1 is available Sept. 25.

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