“Yellowstone” Actor Luke Grimes Launches Country Career, New Song

We’ve seen the hit TV show series Yellowstone help wing a dozen or so worthy independent country artists into the stratosphere through the show’s soundtrack, from Whiskey Myers who was featured early and often, to Zach Bryan who currently sits atop Billboard’s TV Songs Chart (yep, that’s a thing now). Established performers Ryan Bingham and now Lainey Wilson also both appear in the show’s cast.

But now we’re seeing a reversal of roles as one of the primary cast members of Yellowstone has just signed a major label record deal, is working with some heavy hitters in Nashville, and has released his debut song ahead of an album expected in 2023.

Luke Grimes plays Kayce Dutton in the Yellowstone series—the son of John Dutton (Kevin Costner) who works as a horseman and ranch hand on the Dutton Ranch. The character was also once in the NAVY Seals, and is married to Monica Long.

In real life, Luke Grimes was born in Dayton, Ohio, and is the son of a Pentacostal pastor. Grimes grew up singing and playing music in church, including learning how to play drums at a church camp, and later learning piano and guitar. Grimes also briefly played drums in a band in Los Angeles before his acting career took off.

As an actor, Grimes appeared in the 2014 film American Sniper, as well as the Fifty Shades of Grey film series. Grimes was also part of a 2012 television film for FX called Outlaw Country. Designed to be a pilot for an intended series about organized crime in Nashville with ties to music, the series was never picked up.

Fast forward to 2022, and Luke Grimes has officially signed with Universal Music Group Nashville with a debut album in the works. The now 38-year-old says he grew up on Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson, and cites Colter Wall, Ruston Kelly, and Paul Cauthen as modern influences.

Rumor has it that Grimes has been writing with some serious heavyweights in Nashville, including Brent Cobb, Jamey Johnson, Jon Randall, Josh Osborn, Jessi Alexander, The Love Junkies (Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey), all with Dave Cobb as a producer.

On Friday (12-16), Grimes released his debut single, “No Horse To Ride.” A love song conveying appreciation and devotion to a significant other, it was co-written with Jonathan Singleton and Tony Lane, and features steel guitar stealing in after the first verse. Certainly country and compelling, “No Horse To Ride” also feels a little safe, but that might be a smart debut for an actor turned musician.

Whether Luke Grimes will be a contender in the music space and the latest to benefit off the wild popularity of Yellowstone remains to be seen. He’s already been booked for an appearance at this summer’s Under The Big Sky Fest outside of Whitefish, Montana. The festival has had a close relationship with the show over the years.

What we do know is that Kayce Dutton is uninterested in pursuing the pop side of country. Whether he can hang in the country side of country with his influences on the Yellowstone soundtrack, we’ll just have to see.

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