Country singer Dustin Lynch loves to have a good time.
In April, he performed his hit “Small Town Boy” on Jimmy Kimmel Live, wearing a Matt Damon T-shirt, an ode to one of the host’s bits.
“I was pumped when (Kimmel) said he was cool with me having the T-shirt on,” Lynch says enthusiastically.
Lynch upped his public persona further with a big win on Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle, during which he faced off against fellow country star Cassadee Pope for the coveted championship belt.
The Tullahoma, Tennessee, native ditched his cowboy hat to show off his “hip-hop swagger” for a performance of Ludacris’ hit “What’s Your Fantasy.” To lock down his victory, Lynch donned a faux mustache and zoot suit for a choreographed rendition of Lou Bega’s song “Mambo No. 5.”
“I knew I had to win,” he says with a laugh. “I was telling myself that if I was going to put myself through this embarrassment, I would need to have a trophy to remember the day.
“I was so out of my element dancing with professional dancers. That’s not really my bag. There was a lot of mental preparation and just going for it. Man, what a fun night. That was probably one of the highlights of my career.”
The country singer is channeling his trademark sense of humor as well as his love of partying to stages this summer as an opening act for Brad Paisley. The jaunt comes to Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix on Sunday, June 25.
“It’s a big party,” Lynch says of his show. “We’ll carry that party, which starts backstage, to the stage and do what we love to do. There will be no sitting down. You’ll stand up and dance the whole time.”
The set is sure to feature songs from Lynch’s third album due out later this year, including “Small Town Boy.” The song speaks to the “core country audience,” Lynch says about its success.
“It definitely comes from a true place for me,” he says. “I grew up in a little bitty town in Tennessee. This song isn’t about that, though.
“This is a song that’s speaking about true love. It’s about two people loving each other for who they are on the inside and it’s a really, really cool message.”
Lynch has been working on the as-of-yet-unnamed third album for more than three years. (He pauses for a second and says, “Good grief,” when he thinks about that.) He calls “Small Town Boy” a great introduction to the collection.
“It has party elements, which I love,” he says. “That’s what we do. We throw parties every night when we play shows. This album is about love—falling in love, breaking up and getting over that, and making love. That seems to be mostly the theme.
“I don’t know why over the past few years that’s where I’ve gone. I’ve been in relationships, out of relationships. Now I don’t care to be in one. I think everyone’s going to hear that timestamp of my life.”
His sets opening for Paisley will include other new tracks. Lynch calls those moments “special.”
“I love gauging the crowds’ reactions when they first hear a song,” he says. “That’s a special moment, when you play something no one has heard out there.”
With a new tour and a forthcoming album, this year is sure to be busy for Lynch. It’s going to get more hectic, though, as he introduces more items into his men’s and women’s clothing line, Stay Country.
“It keeps me busy,” he says. “It’s a good problem to have. It’s taking off on its own.”
In the meantime, he is focusing on prepping Paisley fans for a night to remember.
“It’s all about setting the scene for Brad,” he says. “I need to get fans fired up, drinking and dancing and prepare them for Brad to melt their faces. The best way to describe it I get them ready to dance and party.”
Brad Paisley w/Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant and Lindsay Ell, Ak-Chin Pavilion, 2121 N. 83rd Avenue, Phoenix, livenation.com, 7 p.m. Sunday, June 25, $23.50-$250.