At the dawn of the 2010s, a time when mainstream country teemed with buff hunks singing party-hearty anthems, Lee Briceoffered a subtler alternative. Also raised on a combination of contemporary rock and post-Garth Brooks country, Bricegravitated toward craft, not bluster. He wasn’t adverse to good times — he had a country hit in 2013 called “Parking Lot Party” — but he specialized in heart-on-sleeve ballads like “A Woman Like You,” “Hard to Love,” “I Drive Your Truck,” and “I Don’t Dance,” Top Ten country singles that showcased his supple, weathered voice and skilled song structure. The latter is what first brought him attention in Nashville — he penned songs for Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, and his idol Brooks — but the former is what turned him into a star in the early years of the 2010s.
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