Dustin Collins knows what works for him as an artist: rowdy honky tonk tunes that marry rocking guitars and a thumping backbeat with rollicking banjo and a voice that packs a major, twangy punch. Put simply, his new single, “Gone.”
Serving as the third single from his upcoming album, Workin’ Man, “Gone” offers a twist on a breakup song with a humorous hook of tipping bottles back and being glad an old flame is burnt out.
We chatted with Collins all about “Gone,” as well as charity work, what listeners can expect from Workin’ Man and more!
Pro Country: You released “Workin’ Man,” the lead single from your upcoming album of the same name, in May. What drew you to release “Workin’ Man” first and have it serve as the title track of its album?
Dustin Collins: I had actually done “Workin’ Man” as a piece for a buddy of mine’s ag podcast. Being from a farm town myself, it just kinda made sense to include it on the record. A lot of folks really enjoyed it, so we threw it out as a single.
PC: Your new single, “Gone,” follows your June single, “When She Had Georgia on Her Mind.” Why did you and your team feel that “Gone” was the right follow up and the right third single from Workin’ Man?
DC: We have always done well with rockin’ honky tonk tunes, and I feel like that’s where my heart is as a writer. I love getting to be that rowdy redneck that I am in real life on my records.
PC: You co-wrote “Gone” with Kevin Jaggers. Can you take us in the room and talk about how the song came together?
DC: About a gallon of margaritas later, we had the perfect break up song. Just kidding, we had talked about doing a happy breakup song and trying to make it funny. I think we came up with the perfect line for it.
PC: You’ve been working with Buddy Cannon as your producer, who has worked with Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson and Reba McEntire, among others. What can you take away from being in the studio with someone who has Buddy’s level of success in the producer’s chair?
DC: That hard work pays off. You can tell with the level of folks in the studio around you if you’re on the right path. With Buddy, he just brings the next level to the table. It’s still kind of amazing to me to even get the opportunity.
PC: With three singles already released from the Workin’ Man album, what information, if any, can you give about the rest of the album? What can listeners expect to hear?
DC: We are loving the reaction to what we’ve put out so far. Since we kinda got a late start releasing this year, I think the best thing is to go back to the studio and add more to it. I don’t think there is a such a thing as too many songs.
PC: A portion of the proceeds of Workin’ Man will go to GUMI (Glad You Made It) Camp USA, which provides veterans with the tools they need to help them heal after deployment overseas as they re-enter society. Can you talk about what GUMI means to you and why it was important to support them with Workin’ Man?
DC: It’s an amazing organization doing amazing things for amazing people. Everyone needs a hand up sometimes, but if we are not doing this for our nation’s heroes, it says something terrible about our country. I’m 100 percent behind anyone willing to sacrifice for folks who have sacrificed so much for us.
PC: What are your plans for the rest of 2022 and beyond?
DC: We still have some touring to do this year. You can look for us in the Midwest. We are going to be doing some more recording and a whole lot of hunting!
*All images by James Isaac Jones Photography*