Rodney Gets More Than His 15 Minutes
By: Alanna Horner-Conaway
September 1, 2009
As Rodney Atkins prepared to head back into the studio to begin work on his follow up to IF YOU’RE GOING THROUGH HELL, he felt the pressure of how he would top one of the year’s most talked about albums, an album that spawned four No. 1 singles.
“Starting out, I was like, ‘how are we going to approach this album?’” admits Rodney.
So the singer stuck to what he knows best – singing songs about the simple pleasures in life that mean the most to him as well as the people listening. The album’s first single and title track, “It’s America,” soared up the country singles chart marking Rodney’s fifth number one hit in only three years.
“I heard ‘It’s America’ at a time when we were all facing the economy, soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and going through the election period,” remembers Rodney. “I just loved how the song made me feel. I like songs that when people listen to them, they can relate to what I’m going through in my life.”
Rodney’s latest single “15 Minutes” tells the story of a good ole boy attempting to give up all the bad things in his life for his lady, but quickly realizing that doing such has been “the worst 15 minutes” of his life.
“It’s not only a funny punchline song – sort of like how “Cleaning This Gun” was – but “15 Minutes” is also a timeless country song and something that could’ve been around 30 years ago,” says Rodney. “I’m lucky I got to record it. I love songs that are timeless like that.”
Of the 11 tracks on IT’S AMERICA, three were co-written by Rodney including “Got It Good,” “Chasin’ Girls,” and “Simple Things.”
For songwriting inspiration, Rodney does not have to look further than his family – 7-year-old son Elijah, who inspired previous hit “Watching You,” stepdaughters Lindsey and Morgan, and wife of 10 years, Tammy Jo.
“Lindsey and Morgan were two and three when I met my wife,” says Rodney. “I’ve had daughters in my life now for a long time. They’ve been a part of my life my whole adult life. I realize how amazing they’ve been and how fast time flies by. Ted Hewitt, Steve Dean (co-writer of “Chasin’ Girls”) and I got together one day and got to talking about how us guys are chasing girls from day one in one form or another!”
“Simple Things” is a song Rodney holds close to his heart for many reasons. Mostly because it reminds him of the summer day at a creek down in a holler behind his house when he started to write a song about splashing around in the water with his boy.
“We went down there and he was looking for Indian money and wanting to go fishing,” says Rodney. “I started singing those lines ‘it’s the simple things that strum my strings… Elijah said, ‘that oughtta be a song, daddy!’ I said ‘you know what…it should!’”
“I love songs that have imagery,” Rodney continues. “Imagery in songs sometimes seems to be a lost art. The real, real basic everyday stuff; that’s kind of the stuff I’m drawn to. I think country music is representative of the country – it’s not country western anymore, but it’s country music. It’s music for people all over the country.”
IT’S AMERICA debuted on the country album’s chart at No. 3 and is only weeks away from producing its second chart topping hit.
“When it comes to making an album, you want to make the best album, and you want it to make sense from top to bottom,” Rodney says. “I wanted people to know they were going to get a bunch of great songs. I think we did just that with this album.”