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When you first hear Brantley Gilbert’s monster hits like “Bottoms Up” and “The Weekend,” you don’t automatically think of him as Mr. Sensitive. Seeing him riding a big Harley in his videos while sporting tattoos and heavy jewelry on both hands seems to confirm that Brantley is one of country’s resident “tough guys.”

That assumption doesn’t tell the whole story, though. Brantley is looking to defy expectations with a few new projects coming up this year, including a possible acoustic album. It would show the more vulnerable side of Brantley’s personality, and he knows that might come as a surprise to his casual fans out there who just know him from his radio hits.

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There has been no timeline shared for when we might get that acoustic record from Brantley, but we do know he is branching out musically in a big way with an upcoming May 4 show in Nashville. Brantley has hired a full orchestra to back him up for that gig at the Ascend Amphitheater in Music City. He thinks arranging his songs to fit an orchestral setting will bring out some unexpected elements within his music and lyrics.

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Brantley explains, “This seemed like a very special — and different — way to present these songs. It’s the last thing people expect, I know. But I think when folks hear how these songs fill out with the classic instruments, they’re going to be surprised at what’s there.”

Brantley Gilbert hatless Cooper Neill/Getty Images
Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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