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Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock take stage at BamaJam

By the time BamaJam 2012 ends early Sunday morning, organizers expect more than 300,000 music fans to visit the small town of Enterprise, Ala., population about 26,500.

Among the performers are Willie Nelson, Eric Church, Tim McGraw, the Zac Brown Band, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow.

And there's a newcomer named Dustin Lynch of Tullahoma, Tenn.

Lynch, 27, has his first hit, "Cowboys and Angels," climbing up the charts.

He's touring around the country, and he's thrilled to be on the same bill as the stars who are going to be at BamaJam 2012.

"No doubt about it, things have been cranking up," he said in a recent telephone interview."

Lynch refers to himself as "a little bitty guy" who sang in church. Nine years ago, he headed to Nashville, which he said is not far from his hometown.

"I'm a pretty stubborn dude, and a lot has happened in nine years," he said. "Every time one door would shut, another would open. It's been a fun ride. I needed every door that shut because it made me better."

In "chasing the dream" of being a recording star, he even found a room "right next to the Bluebird Cafe," the premiere club in Nashville for singer/songwriters to hone their work. Lynch went there as often as he could to improve his songwriting skills.

Tonight, he performs at the same venue of some of his idols.

BamaJam will feature two stages, which will have one active while the other will be broken down for the next act. Audience members just need to turn around.

Asked where he was the first time he heard "Cowboys and Angels" on the radio, he said he was on his bus.

"I was with folks from the record label," Lynch said. "Broken Bow Records is like a family. So that was really cool. They spent two years of their lives to get me on the radio. It was amazing. It was big. I called mom and dad, of course."

His mother is a receptionist who "played a little piano." His father works in construction and has no musical background. "My sister sings in the shower," he said. "She's a beautiful mom."

As for his own musical aspirations, "You can blame it on Garth Brooks," he said.

At the show tonight, Lynch will play songs from his current CD, and will play some of the songs from his next one, which comes out Aug. 21.

"I'm very proud of it," he said. "We're not playing all of the songs from the new record live yet. It gives me something to look forward to."

Being on the road is still new to him and his band.

"I'll come in for an afternoon, do something with the media like going to radio stations or do interviews. We're in a new town every day. We do laundry in the hotel. It's fun. I can wake up in New York or California. We see new places every day. It's like being on a permanent vacation."

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