It’s been just over a year since Lee Brice played Des Moines, and what a year it’s been. Since then he has scored two No. 1 hits, “A Woman Like You” and “Hard to Love,” and a third song, “I Drive Your Truck,” seems headed in that direction. Now he’s back as the opening act on Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert’s “Locked and ReLoaded” tour, which hits Hilton Coliseum on Thursday.
At first glance, “I Drive Your Truck” might seem like it’s just one more country song romanticizing Fords and Chevys, but don’t let the title throw you. Rather than the typical fuel-injected masculinity of a truck song, it tells the story of an Army veteran reflecting on a lost friend by driving the departed’s truck.
“That song killed me,” Brice said during a phone interview. “It made me think about my granddaddy, and the way it hit me, I knew it would hit a lot of people like that. If you were just looking at the charts, you might think it’s just another truck song. It’s the furthest thing from another truck song.”
While “I Drive Your Truck” is a bit of a downer, that doesn’t sum up Brice’s second album, “Hard 2 Love.”
“Parking Lot Party” has been a favorite in live shows, and it seems destined to be released as a single. The song has become popular at sporting events because of the tailgating feel it exudes, but Brice wrote it for music fans partying before a show.
Brice looked to the best when it comes to inspiration for a parking lot party: Jimmy Buffett. He spent a day tailing a “Parrothead” friend.
“A lot of people will relate it to football games or Talladega races, but a lot of the inspiration was from concerts,” Brice said. “We wanted to do it right, and spent the day enjoying cheeseburgers and margaritas. I remember it like yesterday, but my buddy drank so much he almost didn’t make it to the show, which would have been terrible.”
“Hard 2 Love” isn’t even a year old yet, but Brice is already working on a follow-up. A few songs that might make the album have already made it into his live shows, like “When the Whiskey Used to Burn.” But Brice is about to take a monthlong break from touring and recording to get married in April.
“I’m so excited, I wish I was getting married tomorrow,” Brice said. “We are going to get married in Branson. We wanted a small wedding, so Nashville seemed like too many people, and Sumter (South Carolina) where I’m from had too many folks, too. We wanted to go somewhere neutral.”
“Locked and ReLoaded” tour with Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert and Lee Brice
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Hilton Coliseum, 1700 Center Drive, Ames