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Granger Smith Absorbed Everything on the Road With Florida Georgia Line

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Granger Smith has been playing some huge places over the last couple of years, touring with the likes of Florida Georgia Line, and it’s been a learning curve for his entire touring organization.

The Texas-based country star first built his career regionally, working his way up from tiny clubs to larger venues, and with the success of his national debut album, Remington — which scored hits with “Backroad Song” and “If the Boot Fits” — all the way up to giant amphitheaters supporting the superstar country duo.

“The bigger venues that you play, you are dealing with a little bit larger disconnection with fans individually,” Smith tells Taste of Country. “When you get to the sold out clubs, you have a very good connection with the people you can touch and make eye contact with, and when you get into the arenas, it’s a challenge to keep that connection going, and it’s also a challenge to give that same show, that same feeling of connection to the people that are 60 yards away from you that can’t touch you or make eye contact with you.”

Smith says having a bird’s eye view of how FGL ran their tour was one lesson after another.

Country Tours Hitting the Road in 2017

“At some point during that tour, we watched every component of a tour, from the parking in early morning to the last trailer door closing at night. We watched all of it at some point,” he shares. “I learned a lot from watching Tyer and Brian engage the crowd; the way they built their set, the way they created the flow in the set. The way that they could break it down in the middle to just them and their guitars and deliver a message, and then build it back up into the feeding frenzy at the end.”

Smith has just released a new single, “Happens Like That,” which he co-wrote with Tyler Hubbard and some of Nashville’s top writers during that tour. He’ll get the chance to debut it for fans and put his lessons to work on the road on his live dates supporting Luke Bryan on his Huntin, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour.

“It is different from everything else that we do right now onstage,” Smith says. “That’s important to me to have a moment where I can just go down and start with just me and my guitar, and then when the chorus comes in, the lights hit and everybody’s engaged. So that’s a moment that I’m looking forward to that we don’t have right now.”

See Granger Smith + More at 2017 CRS New Faces Show

Next: Granger Smith Shares Story Behind 'Happens Like That'

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