(CSC) 1. Great to see you again and congrats on the #1 single ďGimmie That GirlĒ since the last time we visited. How have you enjoyed the huge success of the song so far?
It has been great; itís rejuvenated a lot of things especially our fan base. It is a big ole blessing thatís for sure. Just when we needed a big song one came along for us and we had another good one that we followed that up with called ďThe Shape Iím In.Ē It was a good song that worked really well for us and did a lot of great things. Iíll tell you what, the new stuff that weíre working on that should be out later this year, is something weíre extremely excited about. Itís looking good man and weíre pretty excited. It was a good year last year, and itís been a good year so far this year so it looks like weíre in a great spot.
(CSC) 2. You recently released a greatest hits album this year; did you have a difficult time narrowing down the tracks?
No I donít think so. It could have been called ďMy Only HitsĒ instead of a Greatest Hits. (Laughs) The label thought it would be a great idea to reconnect fans with some of my earlier stuff and some of my later stuff; it was a good idea and it seemed to work!
(CSC) 3. Thinking back on your career starting at day one, what does it mean to you as an artist to have the hits and longevity to create an album like this?
Personally, itís a wonderful thing to be able to fill an album full of select songs, thatís a pretty great feeling and itís a tremendous accomplishment. It also feels like a chapter of my music career is over and I hope that a brand new and bigger one is just beginning; thatís what weíre hoping for. We have picked some good songs over the years that have turned people on and hopefully we can have another nine years like the last nine years; theyíve been pretty good to me.
(CSC) 4. When can fans expect an album of brand-new material, and what type of direction will you head with it?
Well I can tell you this, its going to be FUN!! It feels a lot like it did when we headed into the third record (III) with ďTequila Makes Her Clothes Fall OffĒ and ďSize Matters.Ē Thereís a lot of fun stuff on this album and weíve starting working on it and Iím taking it as it goes. So far itís working really, really well working with Mark Wright and Buddy Cannon as well. I couldnít be more proud of the way things are starting off and weíre about halfway done with the record. On that note, itís going GOOD!
(CSC) 5. Tell us about your upcoming headlining tour that kicks off next month in
Yes. We are going down to
(CSC) 6. Youíve played in
They are actually similar in a lot of ways and in some ways theyíre different. They remind me of Texas-country fans because I think
(CSC) 7. Do you plan to allow leisure time during your trip, and if so what would you like to do when visiting?
Downtime is pretty rare but I love sleeping. (Laughs) I know that sounds like a pretty boring thing but when we are in between touring and out on the road, I love to get caught up on rest. With this particular trip to
(CSC) 8. You are good to your fans and pretty accessible in the way that you interact, so why is it important to you to have the bridge from artist to fan?
Well I think itís my personality, I hope so; I canít get a real good accurate read on that, itís tough to say. I hope thatís the kind of personality I have; being a very approachable person. I consider myself extremely normal (Laughs) and always try to be at least courteous and gracious. I know that if I put myself in my country music fans shoes, and I am a fan of country music; I love Merle Haggard, George Strait, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Hank Jr. and all those guys, Iím a fan of country music so I know that as a fan I want those guys to be approachable and likeable. I want them to live up to who they seem like they are on the radio, guys that I wouldnít mind hanging out with; nice guys and pretty cool dudes. So I suppose that is kind of what I think about when I think about how I try to interact with fans and people that come to see the shows.
(CSC) 9. Would you like to record a duet with someone that you admire like Merle Haggard or George Jones on this new record?
I havenít talked about it completely what Iím going to do as far as duets go and I donít know what options are on the table but we talked about it several times about doing a duet with Merle. I would love to do a duet with Merle, I just think he is great and he is my hero; an all time favorite. I would just love an opportunity to sing with him one day. I feel the same way about recording with Jones and
(CSC) 10. Who is the one person in your life that keeps you grounded and why?
I would have to say Heather, my wife. She keeps me grounded because sheís not afraid to challenge me. Sheís pretty strong willed, we both are, which can sometimes make for an interesting conversation with different ideas and different opinions. She reminds me of who I am when I need it most. She has known me longer than anybody except for immediate family just about. (Laughs) We have known each other for almost sixteen years now. She is a good friend to have.
(CSC) 11. At this stage in your life, what have you learned to appreciate the most?
I would hope that the things that I have learned to appreciate the most, I hope this is how I am, is God and the recognition that something bigger than me has saved me and bailed me out, helped me along and loved me and blessed me more than I could ever deserve. I think that I appreciate that more than I ever have before. I would have to say as far as my career goes; the things I appreciate now are the fans. Especially the ones that have been country fans of mine for all the past nine years since my first record came out. I appreciate it and I appreciate their loyalty, honesty and devotion.
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