Dad life has changed Brantley Gilbert, and his next album will prove it. He says this project is different from any he's released, indicating that it's a softer album.

"It's got a little bit of a different vibe, which I don't want people to take that the wrong way and think that's the way it’s gonna be for now on," Gilbert tells Taste of Country, "but this one didn’t lean itself that way. It was a chapter of my life that called for a different sound."

It's a chapter of his life that includes 1-year-old Barrett, his son with wife Amber. When talking about him, the 33-year-old country outlaw becomes like any father, complaining that his son has too many toys, lamenting sleepless nights and trying to find time to chase some of his own hobbies without feeling guilty about leaving his wife to care for their son.

He's also quick to brag on the precious moments:

“I wrote a song," Gilbert says. "Kinda started the idea of it while we were in the hospital room with him. It's one of those things, it's just something I don’t think God made words for. Writing a song about it is harder than I ever thought it'd be but I do have one that's going on the new record that I'm really proud of."

The "What Happens in a Small Town" singer says the song is mostly for Barrett and (God-willing) any kids he and Amber have in the future, and it's a tear-jerker. "This next record I think will surprise you," he admits. "There’s a little bit of everything on there like always, but no so much on the heavy, heavy side."

So wait, does this mean Brantley Gilbert gotten soft?

Nah — the Georgia hell-raiser promises he still has those hard-edged impulses, and his next album after this one will probably be more nostalgic because "nobody wants to hear a whole record about like washing clothes and taking care of a baby."

"Thankfully my life is still at a place where I do still get on a bike and I do still — I'll always hang out with a rough crowd. Those are my people."

There's no timetable for the new album. "What Happens in a Small Town" is a duet with Lindsay Ell.

Here's How Lindsay Ell Ended Up on Brantley Gilbert's New Song

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