Brantley Gilbert’s Onstage Presence Is an Alter Ego, Peach Pickers Dish
We all know what Brantley Gilbert is like onstage — what with his tattoos, piercings and rockin’ country tunes. But strip all that down, and what do you get? A soft-spoken, gentle mama’s boy who would do just about anything for the people he cares about.
Just ask Nashville writing trio the Peach Pickers, comprised of Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Dallas Davidson. The Pickers got to know Gilbert really well around the time that their fellow Georgian was on the brink of exploding onto the country music scene, so they’re credible when it comes to knowing the ‘Country Must Be Country Wide’ hitmaker.
“Brantley has the biker look with the tattoos and earrings, but he doesn’t come off as being some big tough guy,” Akins tells Taste of Country. “He is like the nicest, most humble guy and is complimentary of everybody he meets. He doesn’t sit around like you can get beat up by him. But when he’s onstage, he becomes this alter ego.”
“If you’ve ever seen one of his live shows, you get that,” adds Hayslip. “He’s unbelievable live. You feel like you’re in the presence of a star. When you’re sitting in a room with him, you don’t necessarily get that, but when he’s onstage, he just goes into this character.”
But it’s not just females who go crazy for Gilbert. “Girls obviously like male singers, but when you see guys out there going as crazy for a male act as the girls are … you know you’re a big star,” Akins explains. “I went out with him [Gilbert] a couple of times this year on the Eric Church tour, and I’m talking big, burly redneck dudes with their fists in the air going crazy. When they meet him, they act like they’re meeting George Strait [laughs]. These big ole tough dudes are bowing down at Brantley. He’s just got this thing that everybody loves.”