By Annie Reuter

The moment you walk into the Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas, you’re instantly transported to Italy. The breathtaking architecture, floor-to-ceiling murals, statues of David and ancient Roman gods, illuminated piazzas and even the animated musicians at the entrance all replicate picturesque Venice. If you’ve never been to Venice, it’s the next best thing.

When learned we’d be headed to Las Vegas to cover the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, riding a gondola on the canal inside the The Venetian was a top priority. And lucky for us, Dustin Lynch was up for joining us.

During our romantic ride under the Venetian’s lovely blue ‘sky,’ Lynch filled us in about his upcoming album (due later this year) and his brand-new single “Where It’s At.”

“It’s a new chapter for me musically,” Lynch explained to about “Where It’s At,” which was first unveiled to fans last month. “The song is actually a new kind of groove for me. It’s something we haven’t put out to radio yet. It’s less stomping of the boots and more hands in the air kind of thing.”

Related: Lynch reveals first new single from his upcoming sophomore album

Lynch said the song is about “finally not staring at a girl in a bar or a field, we finally get to go home with her.”

“The first time I heard it, it’s infectious,” he continued. “The guitar licks are like earworms, they stay in your head forever. I just thought, ‘What a perfect summertime song.’ It’s about the simple things in life. It’s about the easy. It’s not glam. It’s a girl that’s chillin’ out in her pajamas. There’s nothing better than that, than being with somebody in the comfort of your own home.”

For Lynch, unfortunately, this apparently hasn’t happened in a while, as he had trouble remembering the last time he’d been on a date. “Oh gosh. You know, I haven’t been on a date in years,” he said.

Even if it’s been a while, he does have an image of what would make for a good one. “I love great dinners. [And] I think anywhere on the water is a great date for me. Probably the perfect date would be somewhere in Northern California on the coast. Maybe in Big Sur. I just recently visited and there are some really awesome lookouts. I think a picnic on the edge of one of those cliffs would be amazing.”

(Credit: Annie Reuter)(Credit: Annie Reuter)

As we rowed passed imaginary piazzas, underneath the Bridge of Sighs, and next to Saint Mark’s Square, Lynch looked to his grandparents, the inspiration behind “Cowboys and Angels,” for giving him advice on love.

“They’re high school sweethearts and they have so much fun together,” he said. “It’s all about finding what you love to do that you both love doing. For them it’s fishing. They love to fish, and I think that’s so cool. They’ve been married 59 years and still go fishing together. It’s a beautiful thing. My grandparents are definitely a great role model.”

Lynch is still writing and tracking new songs for his upcoming sophomore album, which doesn’t have a release date yet but is expected later this year. He did, though, preview a few new songs during a brunch in Las Vegas last Sunday (April 6) that was hosted by his label, Broken Bow Records. One of them, he told, is among his favorite songs he has ever written — and it didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.

“It’s called ‘Your Daddy’s Boots.’ This particular day we were trying to write a song that had some impact to it, that meant something. I wasn’t feeling that great, I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to write today.’ But I decided to go in, and I’m glad I did. After a couple of hours of throwing around ideas, we were messing with another song idea and it hit me. I was like, ‘Oh wait a second. I used to play all these wedding receptions.’ The first dance is a huge thing, but the father-daughter dance is one that always got me choked up, because the groom is sitting there watching as the daddy’s giving his daughter away.”

“I just put myself in the groom’s shoes,” he continued, “and wrote this first verse to this song, and the hook line is, ‘I’m going to have a hell of a time trying to fill your daddy’s boots.’ It’s about the groom saying, ‘Alright, you’re mine now. You’re mine to take care of.’ It’s a song I’m really proud of. I can’t wait for the world to hear it.”

dustin lynch Dustin Lynch Opens Up On Romance, New Music On a Gondola Ride at The VenetianDustin Lynch on a gondola at the Venetian (credit: Scotty O’Brien)

Another track, “Middle of Nowhere,” came to him on a dance floor in Texas.

“I try to two-step,” he said. “I’m pretty bad at it, but I try. This particular female was toying with me. I couldn’t tell if she was into me or not. We were just dancing, and then all of a sudden this song idea came to mind, ‘Middle of Nowhere.’ She has me in the middle of nowhere and I have no idea what she wants. It’s called the friend zone. I get stuck in that all the time.”

He completely switches gears on another track, “Sing to Me,” which he described as “sexual chocolate.”

“I told my producers, ‘I want you to make my clothes fall off,’” Lynch said. With a catchy chorus, soaring guitar interlude and radio-friendly vibe, the song just might accomplish that.

Our gondola ride ended far too quickly. But we had to know: did Lynch think he might take his next date on a gondola ride? His answer was a resounding yes.

“If it’s anything like this, it’s going to be good. I would love to do that. A gondola ride would be great,” he said.

Dustin Lynch’s new single is available on iTunes April 14.


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