After coming oh so close to walking away, LOCASH’s ascent in country music continues, having been nominated for Vocal Duo and New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year, honors that Chris Lucas and Preston Brust hope to bring home from the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards.

“It don’t get better than that — no pun intended,” Lucas said, referencing their nominations and new single, “Don’t Get Better Than That.”

Lucas and Brust made a go of it after developing chemistry entertaining crowds with banter between musical acts at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon, one of more than a few Music City venues known to enjoy a melting pot of aspiring country artists.

“And the next thing you know,” Lucas said, “the band would be on, we’d go back stage and work on different songs. I was teaching [Brust] more secular music, because he grew up on gospel.”

But following a year that brought a lost record deal, dwindling finances as well as family tragedy and fatherhood for Lucas, LOCASH prepared to part, Lucas having applied to be a policeman in Orlando, Florida and Brust having headed West to get back to the fundamentals of song writing.

It was 2011.

“I was barely making an apartment payment. And we’ve already lived out of our cars,” Lucas said, “but can’t do that now with a family.”

Then, on the same day the Orlando Police Department contacted Lucas about his application, they caught a break. Keith Urban called to tell them he was going to take “You Gonna Fly” — a song they wrote — all the way.

“I don’t cry very often, but I mean, I literally held up my little boy like Simba does in ‘The Lion King,’” Lucas said.

Brust found out on his way to the grocery store, a trip he hitched a ride to make.

“I’m going down the highway, and my phone rings. And it’s Keith Urban,” Brust said. “And he says, ‘Hey, it’s Keith Urban,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, right.’”

After confirming that it was not one of his buddies mimicking the Aussie country star, the former gospel musician rejoiced to the heavens.

“I said, ‘Stop the car,’ and I got out,” Brust said. “You just look up to the heavens and you’re just like, ‘Yes’”!

“You Gonna Fly” became a number one hit, paving the way for the pair to write Tim McGraw’s “Truck Yeah” before breaking through as performers in 2015 with, “I Love This Life.” LOCASH followed that up with a number one hit, “I Know Somebody,” thus buttressing their 2016 album “The Fighters” with two well-known singles.

“When no one else believed, we kept believing,” Brust said. “Are circle kept getting smaller and smaller as the years went by, and it just came down to us.” (Lucas noted that a very select few stood by them.)

When asked about the role faith and family — themes present in their song “God Loves Me More” — have on their journey, “huge” was the answer.

“We’re both blessed with great families, strong wives, amazingly healthy kids.”

And Lucas concluded, “We’re nothing without God.”

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