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"I became really good friends with a lot of Toby Keith's crew members, and they talk about how long they have been with [him], and how good he's been to them," Brantley explains to Billboard magazine. "That's my goal. I want my crew to say that about me. That gives me something to shoot for. We've never done anything quite by the rules. We've always done things our own way."
Brantley's latest album, Halfway to Heaven, earned the "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" singer his first gold album, which he admits is a mixed blessing. "That's a great feeling. The hardest part about the next record is going to be topping it," he explains. "I'm having to go back to the drawing board and figure out what to do next. I didn't have any expectations. This has been icing on the cake."
Brantley, who recently revealed he is dating Jana Kramer, is joined by Uncle Kracker, Greg Bates and Brian Davis on various dates on his current tour. He will take time out to perform with Sugarland's Kristian Bush for a special CMA Songwriter Series in Music City on Oct. 31. See his remaining Hell on Wheels dates here.