Ethan Payne showcases his appreciation for Luke Bryan with his brand new self-penned single, “Luke’s Guitar,” premiering exclusively for readers on Country Now.
The new song, solely written by Payne, has the Season 17 American Idol alum breathing new life into an old guitar passed down to him by Bryan. Forever grateful, Payne acknowledges the journey the guitar must’ve gone through before it ended up in his hands.
“I bet it’s been on a Georgia front porch / seen the lights of a stadium world tour,” Payne sings throughout the vivid first verse of the country ballad, alongside delicate guitar picking and steady percussion.
Once the chorus hits, Payne is grateful knowing he can rely on his six-stringed instrument to get him through some of the toughest days brought on by life’s many uncertainties.
“When life’s too hard and all my stars are out of reach / I’m in too deep I just can’t stop sinkin’,” Payne sings throughout the chorus. “I start to play and all my pain just fades away / I don’t break when I’m hangin’ on by the last string / It’s crazy how it saves my hopeless heart / Luke’s guitar.”
Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis as a toddler (18-months-old), Payne was faced with an uphill battle early on. However, that didn’t stop him from following his passions, and pursuing a career in country music. A huge fan of Bryan, he requested a meet-and-greet with the country superstar as his only wish to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Not only did that dream come true, but Payne also got to share the stage with his idol during a concert at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX on October 22, 2016.
It was at that particular show that Bryan gifted Payne his guitar.
“The guitar he gifted me has been my motivation during the struggles with my health,” Payne told Country Now of the instrument, which he now considers to be his most prized possession. “I knew this song would be the only way [Bryan] would always know how much he changed my life that night in Dallas, Texas when he gave me that guitar and asked me to come sing with him in front of 50,000 people.”
Turns out that Paine’s assumptions about Bryan were correct. When the country superstar heard “Luke’s Guitar” for the first time, he was admittedly brought to tears.
“If I knew that song would’ve come outta you boy, I’d have given you a hundred of them guitars,” Bryan told Payne, according to a representative for the star.
Listen to “Luke’s Guitar” in the video above.