Weekender

Brantley Gilbert brings ‘The Devil’ to the BJC

Brantley Gilbert will perform Friday at the Bryce Jordan Center, the second stop on his “The Devil Don’t Sleep” tour.
Brantley Gilbert will perform Friday at the Bryce Jordan Center, the second stop on his “The Devil Don’t Sleep” tour. Photo provided

Each of Brantley Gilbert’s records reflects a chapter of his life.

Contrary to the title, Gilbert says his latest album, “The Devil Don’t Sleep,” might be his most positive one yet.

Gilbert released the album Jan. 27, and Feb. 3 at the Bryce Jordan Center will be the second stop on his “The Devil Don’t Sleep” tour.

Gilbert prides himself on being the “what you see is what you get” country artist. His music is honest and raw, exposing his struggles and triumphs.

“You gotta tell your story — not be afraid to throw it out there,” Gilbert said. “Every song is its own animal.”

The album’s title track deals with the idea of temptations. They’re always lurking in the corner, never too far out of reach.

For Gilbert, one of his demons is alcohol. He’s been sober for more than five years, but there was a time when he didn’t think he could perform and do his job. A visit from country star Keith Urban, a recovering addict himself, changed Gilbert’s mindset.

“Keith came into my life, I didn’t know him very well,” he said. “He came in when I needed to hear what he needed to say, I’ll be forever grateful — really just about knowing that things may be different but a good different.”

Gilbert says that “The Devil Don’t Sleep” may deal with his sobriety, but it’s really a general statement about whatever gets in his way or slows him down — everyone has their own struggles and can relate to the challenge of being followed by temptations.

The Jefferson, Ga., native’s fourth album bounces from the good to the bad in a compilation of high-energy tracks that tell the latest chapter of the country rocker’s story.

“The Weekend” is a feel-good rock anthem celebrating a break from the nine-to-five. But things slow down in the stirring ballad “Three Feet of Water” and “The Outlaw in Me.”

Though some artists try to keep their music under wraps until the album release date, Gilbert gave his fans an early preview.

About two weeks before the release of “The Devil Don’t Sleep,” Gilbert posted snippets of each of the 16 songs on the album to his Instagram.

“It’s a preview of what’s coming so they know they have some bread and butter there,” Gilbert said. “I’m always a little anxious before a record comes out, but this has allowed me to be a little more excited about this one — it takes a lot of the pressure away.”

Gilbert said chaos and mayhem are in his DNA. He likes his shows to be a party filled to the brim with energy.

He hasn’t toured since 2014 with the release of his third studio album, “Just As I Am,” and he’s ready to hit the road.

“Anybody that knows me knows that I don’t do off time well,” he said. “My wife’s ready to get me back on the road; we’re really excited to get back to jamming and working — touring is the fun part.”

Gilbert particularly looks forward to performing in working-class, Rust Belt towns.

“When it comes to markets that are under played, people are ready for music,” Gilbert said. “We like partying with people who appreciate the music.”

When Gilbert makes his stop in State College at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 with guests Tucker Beathard, Luke Combs and Brian Davis, they’ll be sure to get the party started.

IF YOU GO

  • What: Brantley Gilbert
  • When: 7 p.m. Feb. 3
  • Where: Bryce Jordan Center, University Park
  • Info: www.bjc.psu.edu
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