Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert is no stranger to second acts, in life or in music.

The rising country rock star has had a nice run as a songwriter in his young career, penning songs recorded by no less than the likes of Jason Aldean and Colt Ford. He’s since become a formidable touring force.

Photo: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

“Dirt Road Anthem” and “My Kinda Party” have been released as singles by Aldean (the latter also an album title cut), and Ford covered Gilbert’s “The Best of Me.” Gilbert’s latest single, “Country Must Be Country Wide,” is heading up the radio charts, and his live show is getting a countrywide audience with a slot on “Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown” through July.

But all the success surely comes secondary to Gilbert, who barely survived a car crash in his native Georgia five years ago. He wrote the song “Halfway to Heaven” in the aftermath, and dedicated himself to making music his life.

Despite being dropped by one label before his debut album, Modern Day Prodigal Son, arrived in stores, he was picked up by Big Machine Records’ Valory Music Group and scored agency representation with CAA Nashville’s Aaron Tannenbaum. He’s guided by Rich Egan of Hard 8 Management.

His show developed from that of a singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar to a rocking, high-energy performance. His audience has grown with him – from small, but sold-out, local shows to larger, and still sold-out, gigs beyond Georgia and into the South and Midwest.

But the “Country Throwdown” tour, as well as county fair and casino gigs across the country, gives fans an opportunity to see what all the excitement down South is about.

Photo: Rick Diamond / Getty Images

Halfway To Heaven remains in the Top 10 on Nielsen SoundScan’s Top New Artist Chart after 61 weeks with more than 110,000 copies sold.