Rodney Atkins talks 'Take a Back Road' success and Hank Williams Jr. controversy

Rodney Atkins’ newest album is poised to become a best-seller, and even to debut in the top tier of the albums chart next week, all because of the “road.”

“Take a Back Road” – the single – is one of the most beloved and successful tracks in the country singer’s history, while the album – of the same name – is poised to be among Atkins’ best-charting, with the help, too, of preceding single “Farmer’s Daughter.”

Atkins is married, and with a 10-year-old son, and has a intense history as an adopted child, so his propensity to tackle country’s favorite themes of family and devotion comes easily, especially on this new effort. In our interview this week, Atkins expressed a comfort in his own skin (“and in my blue jeans”). Which sometimes involves avoiding his own press: “The first thing that pops up first on Google, that’s not the best thing to be reading right then…”

Check out what Atkins has to say on his “Road” success, his feelings on music in this political season and how he separates himself from other solo male country singers.

Q: You’ve had several country radio hits, some ACMs, some CMAs, sold enough for a No. 3 album and toured with your heroes. How do gauge your own success? What are you goals now?

A: I just keep my head down. With radio, people are always calling out when a song is a hit, or have told me [songs] sounds like we’re catering to radio. I don’t know what that crap means. How do you get your songs heard to begin with is impossible to figure out. Of course I believe it’s important to have hits, to have sales. Y’know, to maintain your job. Ultimately, it’s less about having the goals than what you do with your success. Getting to work with the National Council for Adoption, to work with the children’s home that I was adopted form… it’s cool getting kids to pay attention to those songs. Everything is related and it gives you an opportunity to make a difference in those kids’ lives.

I want to make a live show better and better and better. Effect folks’ lives positively. My son turned 10 last week. That’s always stuff that keeps you very driven.

Read the rest of the interview at Immaculate Noise!