Rodney Atkins is a country boy, and he’s not afraid to do back-breaking work. "I absolutely love to weed-eat, it’s like therapy to me," he said in a recent interview. Atkins also likes to sing, and judging by his platinum-selling 2006 album, If You’re Going Through Hell, people love to listen to him sing. Born and raised in Tennessee, Atkins is a rising star on the country music circuit and he will be bringing his songs about country life to the historic Cain’s Ballroom, located at 423 North Main Street on Thursday night.
Atkins, who said some of his musical influences include the likes of Charlie Daniels, Alabama and Lynyrd Skynyrd charted four-consecutive number one hits off of his 2006 album, picking up the Academy of County Music award for Top New Male Vocalist. "If You’re Going Through Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)", "Watching You", "These are My People" and "Cleaning This Gun (Come On In Boy)" all hit the top spot on the charts, making Atkins a household name. "It’s been pretty unbelievable. When you put a song out, you hope it connects, and that you’re saying something that people need to hear," he said.
After such an unbelievable response to that album, does he feel any added pressure when recording? "Sure," said Atkins. "You always feel pressure to make the best album you can and make the best songs that you can. My goal has always been to not waste the listener’s time. Whether it (purpose of the song) is to make you laugh or cry…I hope that when people listen to an album they can tell that."
Atkins handled that pressure well, and in 2008 reached number one with "It’s America," his first single from his album of the same name. His latest single, "Farmer’s Daughter," currently sits at number 20 on the Billboard Country charts.
Atkins says that his songs draw their inspiration from real life. "It’s hard for me to write a song or be drawn to something that I can’t relate to on some level. I think that the stuff that I sing about is for regular folks out there. It’s about celebrating the simple things in life."
Atkins promises fans a show that they won’t soon forget. "Our show is full of energy and we have a great time, we’ll play a little bit of everything," he said. Some surprises are possible as well, he added. "We’re always trying to make the show better every night so you never know what kind of things we’ll throw in. I’m looking forward to having everyone come out."