Trace Adkins to bring his Songs & Stories Tour to ToledoWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
Few question the powerful, commanding voice of Trace Adkins.
When he says “Turn it up some!” at the beginning of his monster hit “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” fans crank up the volume.
The artist has a way of speaking to listeners — by speaking to listeners. “Yeah, all right boys, follow me … Listen up, this is philosophical,” he muses at the start of “Rough & Ready.” And on “Ladies Love Country Boys,” he sends out a dedication: “This is for all the sophisticated ladies out there.”
The entertainer effortlessly shifts from fun songs to ballads that reverberate. The baritone gives chills on “Arlington” and “You’re Gonna Miss This.”
“[A song’s] got to speak to me or move me and make me laugh or somber or melancholy. If it affects me that way, then I just hope it can affect somebody else like that,” Adkins said.
The singer will bring his Songs & Stories Tour to Stranahan Theater for an 8 p.m. show April 14. A limited number of seats remain for $27 and $49.
Adkins enjoyed recording a small concert for Country Music Television last year.
“After the show, we were all talking about how much fun it was, and I told the guys in the band, ‘You know, we’ll just book a tour of these things, and we’ll just do it. Let’s see if every night is as fun as this was.’ So that was really the inspiration for it, and so far so good,” Adkins said during a call from a tour stop in Peoria, Ill.
Since his 1996 debut, “Dreamin’ Out Loud,” the former oil rigger has struck it big with “There’s a Girl in Texas,” “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing,” “Lonely Won’t Leave Me Alone,” “Hot Mama,” “Dangerous Man,” “Swing,” “Chrome,” “Then They Do,” “Just Fishin’” and “Million Dollar View.”
The title track of his 2011 disc, “Proud to Be Here,” says it all.
“It’s just one of those songs that speaks to me on a couple different levels: One, the guardian angel aspect of the whole thing, and it’s been pretty well-documented my close calls here and there throughout life,” he said.
The Sarepta, La., native has survived a horrific automobile accident and being shot by his ex-wife.
“I’m just proud to still be around in this business after 15 years and still competing.”
And the man who’s got his game on is proud to support the armed forces.
“I’m a patriotic guy,” Adkins said. “I enjoy doing the USO [tours]. When people ask me why … I always answer that question by saying: ‘When you have an opportunity to hang out with heroes, why would you not want to do that?’ You know, it’s a no-brainer to me. These people are so inspirational, and when I have a chance to rub shoulders with them, I always walk away feeling better about everything.”
The Grand Ole Opry member wrote “Semper Fi” for his latest record.
“ ‘Semper Fi’ was specifically for the Marine Corps because most of the USO trips that we’ve taken, very seldom do we get to go where the Marines will be stationed,” Adkins said. “They don’t get to come to the shows very often either. So I wanted to do something just for the Marine Corps.”
The country superstar also teams up with Blake Shelton for a humorous duet, “If I Was a Woman,” on “Proud to Be Here.”
“That was actually [singer-songwriter] Jeff Banks’ idea, and I just thought it was hilarious,” Adkins said. “It was just so much fun writing the thing. Then we started thinking: What if this was a duet and we could do the back and forth, and I immediately thought about Blake, and that’s just how we wrote it.”
Adkins also sings on “Stand in the Storm” on Meat Loaf’s new album, “Hell in a Handbasket.”
“Ken Levitan also manages Meat Loaf, so I met him a while back and became reacquainted with him during ‘The [Celebrity] Apprentice’ when I went up there for the finale last year and hung out with him a little bit. And then, just out of the blue one day came the offer, an opportunity to sing on this record,” Adkins said. “I’m like, sure, why not? I mean, I didn’t know anybody who didn’t like ‘Bat Out of Hell’ when I was in high school.”
Whether singing rowdy rockers or touching tearjerkers, Adkins knows his role.
“I just try to entertain people; there’s no philosophical deeper message that I’m trying to impress upon anybody,” he said and laughed. “I’m not a preacher; I’m a dancing bear.”