Brantley Gilbert’s Family and Teachers Share Stories During ‘Hometown Throwdown’
You'll learn all about Brantley Gilbert by visiting his hometown, and meeting with the people that raised him. Before the BG Nation rallied around him, the 'Bottoms Up' singer was a hell-raiser, but his mother, coaches and teachers can't say enough positive things about him.
Taste of Country was on hand as Gilbert showed media around his hometown during a 'Hometown Throwdown' to kick off the release of his new 'Just As I Am' album. Beginning with a visit to the road that inspired 'Dirt Road Anthem' (a song he co-wrote for Jason Aldean) and moving along to his house, high school and finally a theater he practically calls home, Gilbert shared who he is. Or, maybe more accurately, his people did it for him.
Gilbert's mother Becky told ToC Nights' host Sam Alex about how kind the singer is when fans mob him at the local Kroger. His old football coach agrees that the 29-year-old is nothing but kind to everyone in Jefferson, Ga., even though he keeps a low profile. One teacher, Mr. Thurman, recalls a three-year-old Brantley's first "performance." He sang 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' like his life depended on it.
“He sang the whole thing, on key, big personality, eyebrows … everything raising," he says. "He was just into it.”
One thing you may not know about Gilbert, is he has a brother who's equally talented. “His brother has a beautiful voice,” Becky Gilbert says. But "he's very shy" so don't expect him to join Brantley on stage.
"Shy" isn't how Gilbert's baseball coach remembers the 'Small Town Throwdown' singer. "He was extremely vocal," Coach Chuck Cook jokes about his outfielder's playing days. "During the Brantley years we had a team that was dugout was rocking and rolling and screaming and shouting. We were hated by most teams because of that, and Brantley was the ringleader."
The thread that ties all these people together is that they influenced Gilbert off the field or out of the classroom as well. Coach Cook remembers frequently working with the family at church or community events. He and the future country star would meet at the Waffle House to discuss life.
"I remember right before his first album was released, we sat down and talked about it," he says. "I just had the opportunity to pray with him and just encourage him." It was the same advice he gave him during his freshman year.
It's safe to say the enthusiastic singer followed that advice. Fans will get to see that enthusiasm first-hand when he plays the Taste of Country Music Festival June 13-15 in Hunter, N.Y.
Earlier this week, Gilbert opened up about his high school days, commenting on his spiffy yearbook photo and the girl he dated across town. The media tour concluded with a show at the Georgia Theatre. It's where he parties every time he releases an album. See photos from the trip below. Learn everything you need to know about 'Just As I Am' HERE.