Trace Adkins is glad to ride shotgun
Country music has seen its share of hillbillies, cowboys, outlaws and Southern rockers. In pals Toby Keith and Trace Adkins, it has its roughnecks. Both worked on oil rigs before landing record deals in Nashville. They're on the road again for "T...
Country music has seen its share of hillbillies, cowboys, outlaws and Southern rockers. In pals Toby Keith and Trace Adkins, it has its roughnecks.
Both worked on oil rigs before landing record deals in Nashville.
They're on the road again for "Toby Keith's American Ride, with Trace Adkins." It's a follow-up to their 2009 "America's Toughest Tour."
Tracy Darrell Adkins was born 48 years ago in Springhill, La. He moved in 1992 to Nashville, Tenn., where his formidable size (he's 6-foot-6), long ponytail and powerful baritone on such hits as "Every Light in the House Is On," "Hot Mama" and "Honkytonk Badonkadonk" made him a star.
His new album, "Cowboy's Back in Town," will be in stores Aug. 17. It's his first effort on Show Dog-Universal, a new label that combined Keith's Show Dog company with the former Universal South. The country star has performed in the area several times, including 2005 and 2006 in Grand Forks.
Adkins, perhaps best known to non-country music fans as a finalist on Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice" in 2008, called the other day from a concert stop in Morristown, Ohio.
Q. How did you meet Toby Keith?
A. I met him shortly after I got to Nashville. We played the same circuit in Texas, and I knew some of his (band) guys, but I wouldn't say we became friends right off the bat because we didn't have the opportunity to hang out.
Last year, they called and asked if we wanted to tour with them. I thought it would make a lot of sense. We're cut from the same cloth, have the same kind of views on things and come out of the oilfield. We aren't that dissimilar.
Q. How did the '09 tour go?
A. It worked out great. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And since I moved to Show Dog-Universal, Toby has a vested interest in making sure that we perform in front of big crowds and do everything in a professional way.
Q. Why did you move from Capitol Nashville to his label?
A. The main reason was what I saw last year (on the tour), that there is still a high premium placed on having fun. That's why we got into the business in the first place. They're focused on having fun, and I wanted to be a part of it.
Q. What do you like best about the job?
A. Being onstage and being in the studio and the great people I get to hang out with. Toby and I spend time together on the road. Sometimes we'll play golf together, or I'll play golf and he'll ride his bike. We sit down and eat together.
Q. How do you stay relevant in the music business, knowing a new crop of talent lands in Nashville every year?
A. You have to work hard to stay competitive. You have to cut commercial (radio-friendly) stuff, keep yourself in shape and do the best you can.
Q. Where is country music headed?
A. I don't know. I don't really spend a lot of time worrying about it. I do what I do, and do it to the best of my ability, and hope somebody enjoys it. Country music has been around for a long time, and a lot of talented young people are coming along, so it's going to do fine as a genre.