I was driving down the highway one evening a couple years back, when Rodney Atkins’ ‘If You’re Going Through Hell,’ came upon the radio in my pickup truck. That’s where I best relate to most music, in my pickup truck. I generally don’t hear it until I listen to it in the seat of my Chevrolet.
Immediately I appreciated Atkins’ approach. It was country and it wasn’t pretentious. It had a blue collar feel to it. And I found myself pumping my fist, which for me is a decent-enough barometer for what’s legit and what gets tuned-out or turned off.
It wasn’t the least bit surprising that the song ultimately went to Number One on the country chart, either. It carried a hard-driving message to folks mired in a tough moment, a never-give-up anthem that the common man could grasp.
Atkins has since followed up that single with several more of similar ilk, songs regular folks hear and think, ‘Yep, that’s me.’ Again, I appreciate that.
So when I had the opportunity recently to hang out with Atkins just prior to a prerace concert at Richmond International Raceway, I figured I should take advantage. He’s a good ol’ boy. He looks you in the eye when he talks to you and shakes your hand like he means it. That goes a long way with me. It’s how my daddy taught me. And I’m aware when it happens and when it doesn’t.
Read the interview at the Country Boy Casserole Blog!