At the risk of sounding overly confident, Jason Aldean says he isn’t surprised by his success in the country music world.
“You put out songs because you feel like they’re hits,” Aldean said in a recent phone interview.
It’s hard to find a good rebuttal. After all, Aldean seems to know what makes a good single.
After hits like “She’s Country” and “Big Green Tractor,” Aldean is enjoying the success of his recently released fourth studio album.
The disc boasts singles like the title track “My Kinda Party,” as well as “Don’t You Wanna Stay” -- the Kelly Clarkson duet that earned rave reviews when the pair performed it live at last week’s CMA Awards.
Not bad for a guy who was once broke enough to contemplate leaving Nashville.
Aldean’s success story is the kind of fairy tale that fuels starving musicians.
Discouraged with his luck on the Nashville music scene, Aldean planned to return to Georgia -- until a producer convinced him to play one more show. There, he caught the attention of an independent record label that changed his life.
The Macon-born singer comes to the Columbus Civic Center tonight.
He’s joined by fellow Georgia artist Luke Bryan, an opening act known for hits like “All My Friends Say” and “Rain Is a Good Thing.” Thompson Square will also appear.
“This year the show looks cool. We’ve got some bells and whistles out for the first time,” Aldean said, telling fans to expect video and more.
Shaking things up
Aldean’s fan base continues to grow, thanks largely to the artist’s versatility.
Aldean occasionally throws Guns N’ Roses medleys into his live shows. His current disc includes everything from energy-infused country tunes to Southern rap.
Then, of course, there’s that duet with Kelly Clarkson. Aldean requested the “American Idol” winner as his partner on “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”
“I love what she kind of brings to the table,” he said of Clarkson, who is widely known as a pop singer but has worked with country artists like Reba McEntire.
As for future duet partners, Aldean would love to work with country music superstar George Strait.
“I’ve been throwing his name out for years,” he said.
Aldean, who is nominated in two categories at Sunday’s American Music Awards, might be on his way to achieving a similar level of country music stardom -- becoming the go-to musical idol artists cite as an ideal duet partner.
Either way, behind his small-town anthems and engaging live performances, Aldean emphasizes a central message.
He’s glad he didn’t give up.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.