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Luke Grimes Wasn’t Allowed To Listen to Secular Music, Except Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings

Luke Grimes mostly listened to gospel music growing up. Except for a few tunes on his father’s hunting playlist, he couldn’t listen to secular music. His father, a pastor, did carry a special affinity for outlaw country.

During a promo spot on Southern Accents Radio with Dave Cobb on Apple Music Country, Grimes explains. “When we would go hunting once a year, my dad had this playlist of old outlaw country stuff that he would play,” he recalls, “and that song was always on there, ‘Always On My Mind’ – and again, sad as hell, out of all of the Willie songs. That one’s just sort of the most quintessential for me. I think there were about 20 songs on [that] country playlist. We would all sing them together. ‘Lukenbach Texas’ [by Waylon Jennings] was a great song to sing with a car full of boys, you know.”

Grimes is most known for such roles as Elliot Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise and Kayce Dutton in Yellowstone. In 2022, he made the leap into country music with the release of “No Horse to Hide,” which nears 13 million Spotify streams. Not too shabby for his debut. Naturally, he struggled with new-found pressures from fans and the industry.

“Because I came from another world entirely and was an actor for a long time – I mean, still am – there’s this feeling o is this cheesy, is this goofy? Are people gonna take this seriously? You know, a lot of imposter syndrome,” he says. 

“At the end of the day, I had to be like… am I gonna let that debilitate me from doing this thing that I really want to try? And if I have an opportunity and I don’t take it, I’ll really kick myself one day,” he continues. “It was a crazy feeling, and I was very prepared to be judged or people think it was kind of a strange thing that I was doing. I’ve just tried to approach it as honestly as possible. I got very lucky to be able to work with you.”

He speaks on his latest single “Playin’ on the Tracks” (above), a smoky downtempo produced by Dave Cobb – known for working with the likes of Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, and Chris Stapleton, among countless others. Grimes’ other singles include “Oh Ohio” and “Hold On.”

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