Brantley Gilbert has quickly risen to prominence as one of country’s brightest young stars. With his gritty sexy tone and his bad boy image, Gilbert is certainly making a strong impression on the ladies (guilty) and the country music scene. His résumé already boasts plenty of accolades, including two number one singles, an ACM Award for Best New Artist, and strong songwriting credits with his successful chart-topping singles for Jason Aldean. He’s currently on tour with superstar Tim McGraw and with consistent hit after consistent hit, he is quickly solidifying his status as one of country music’s newest hit makers.
His current single, “More Than Miles”, is another reminder of Gilbert’s ability to pen a song with a great combination of backbone and tenderness, allowing listeners to instantly fall in love with both sides of his personality. The song tells the story of an aspiring musician leaving his lover behind in Georgia to pursue his singing dreams in Nashville, questioning his decision the entire drive up as he soon realizes that he needs the girl more than he needs the guitar sitting in the passenger seat next to him.
This was the song that won me over and sent me jumping onto the Gilbert bandwagon, or as he calls his fan club, BG Nation. My connection is less romantic and more wistful, but the lyrics are spot-on. Georgia serves as a second home for me, filled with profound memories of lifelong friendships and personal growth. It is a place I look forward to visiting every year, and it is the place I always dread leaving at the end of my time there. This song reminds me of the feeling I get when our car pulls out on to the highway, tears and heaviness filling my eyes and heart as we all too quickly make our way toward the Tennessee state line. Well I’m headed north to what I swore I wanted/and trying not to buy into my doubts/but I just can’t seem to keep myself from wondering/why I’m jealous of all them headlights headed south. This song has officially become the soundtrack of that process of goodbye, keeping me semi-sane until the next time I return. My favorite line is one that sends me reminiscing every time I hear it: cause I’m on my way to Tennessee/singing Georgia on my mind/chasing what they say’s your dream/thinking maybe it ain’t mine. School, work, internships, the future, they’re all waiting for me back home. But I never feel as though I’m going the right direction as I watch the “Now Leaving Georgia” sign disappear behind me as we speed into Tennessee.
The best thing about country music is that every song, no matter how direct or metaphoric, can be construed in any way the listener wants it to. For me, this song is about environment. For others, it truly represents the story of leaving love behind, leading observers to decide whether or not they’ve made the correct decision in chasing their dreams. Whatever the meaning this song may hold for you, I hope it brings you the solace and answers it always gives me, making goodbye easier as I bring a little piece of Georgia with me wherever I go.