Trace Adkins Biography

Review The Artist (29)

Trace Adkins-photo
BORN: January 13, 1962

Trace Adkins has too much blue-collar in his bones to put up with a lot of star-style ego, even from himself. So the six-foot-six ex-oilfield roughneck tends to let modesty get in the way of self-promotion.

He won’t tell you that the bass end of his big baritone can drop into a bottom so deep that it is apt to shake walls…but it can. He won’t tell you he has similar command of higher vocal ranges, even a heart-fluttering falsetto…but he does. He won’t tell you he’s able to sing a whole spectrum of styles of music, from traditional country to its edgiest vestiges…but he is.

He especially won’t tell you that all these skills are manifested to the max in his new CD, Chrome, but they are. Check it out. Chrome shines.

What it does is strike a perfect balance between fun and feeling. Its title song is that rarest of things, an irresistible ditty: a piece of music that is unashamedly less substance than show and at the same time compelling. On the other hand, the collection’s deeply moving first single, “I’m Tryin’” is a gritty and probing celebration of strength of character, the kind required to keep going when life is treating you like its worst enemy.

Adkins describes the wrenching seriousness of “I’m Tryin’” as “kind of the story of my life.” Of the title tune, by contrast, he warns listeners: “Don’t look for the deeper meaning, because there’s not one--it’s just fun.”

To varying degrees on the different tracks, the whole CD is that way, alternating between enjoyment and emotions that run far deeper.

The glamorous adventuress in “Chrome” who wants to drive the truck, the fast car and the motorcycle, rather than just ride them, counterpoints the weary indomitability of the hardworking ex-husband trying to stay current on his child-support in “I’m Tryin’.” The happy and one-dimensional hero of the loping traditional country “And There Was You” contrasts dramatically with the pensive and lonely protagonist of the vocally demanding “Help Me Understand.” The persuasive plea in “Come Home” is humorously parodied in the highly irreverent “I’m Goin’ Back,” and the thoroughly grateful “Thankful Man” is the opposite number of the self-deprecating penitent in “I’m Payin’ For It Now.” “Scream” lends a powerful sexual undertone to the theme of releasing tension, while “Give Me You” voices a contentment just as profound.

Lyrically and musically, this is a tour de force. Adkins’ most ambitious project ever, it is sung with self-assured dash and a craftsmanship both careful and bold. “Chrome,” for instance, marks his first foray into a delivery that at times almost resembles rap; it is, as the singer himself notes, the first time he has ever talked--rather than sung--his way through parts of a song. “Help Me Understand” and “Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow” are both almost-pop power ballads, a direction into which he hadn’t previously ventured. “Once Upon A Fool Ago” employs Celtic sounds he suggested putting into on the track himself. “Come Home” features ways he devised to make each chorus vocally different, and he himself changed a couple of the original lines in “I’m Goin’ Back” to keep its lyrics from being totally politically incorrect. “I’m Payin’ For It Now” he co-wrote.

“The first time people listen to this album I think they’re gonna go, ‘Wow!’” Adkins says. “It’s gonna be one song that’s really laid back and beautiful and then the next song is gonna scare ’em. That’s kind of how this album is. There are some really different kinds of things. There are singing styles on here that people haven’t heard me do before. “It’s probably…well, not probably: it is…the most diverse album I’ve ever made.”

He did it with the aid of two producers who themselves are very different--longtime Adkins buddy Trey Bruce, son of country notable Ed Bruce, who handled the bulk of both his previous album and this one, and Dann Huff, who recently has worked with such other names as Faith Hill and Lonestar--and for the first time in his career Adkins took six months off to focus totally on recording. He approached this project, his fourth for Capitol, with a little of the sort of steadfast doggedness exhibited by the hero of “I’m Tryin’.” It emerges from the industrial-strength attitude of the singer himself.

After a start that saw him register a string of hits early on--“Rest Of Mine,” “[This Ain’t] No Thinkin’ Thing,” “I Left Something Turned On At Home,” “Every Light In The House Is On,” “Lonely Won’t Leave Me Alone,” etc.--as well as win the Academy of Country Music’s New Male Vocalist title and be nominated for the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award, he had to weather changes of administration at the record company and the lapses in momentum that such reconfigurations necessarily entail.

Happily, the most recent change reunited Trace with old friends. Capitol President Mike Dungan and marketing chief Fletcher Foster were among the people who, when they were at Arista, first discovered Adkins and offered to develop his career.

“It’s cool, you know,” the singer says. “That feeling over there at Arista was like a big family, and when you became part of that family, they’d fight for you. So it’s really cool to work with them again.”

Not that Adkins was a stranger to adversity. Much of the life of this son of a Springhill, La., papermill worker has looked like an obstacle course. A finger severed on an offshore oil rig. A shot in the heart from an ex-wife. Assorted broken bones and other physical injuries. A long apprenticeship on the honkytonk circuit.

But everything you survive makes you stronger.

“When I was singing five nights a week in beerjoints I think I just developed tungsten vocal cords,” he reflects. “I think those years of playing in clubs and not having a good monitor system and singing as loud as you possibly could, just to hear yourself, served me well.”

Indeed. Just run an ear across the shine on Chrome.

Please click here to submit the latest Trace Adkins biography

Burnin Hot!! | Reviewer: PKB | 12/9/13

Hi Trace: My husband and I have seen you twice performing at the Fla Strawberry festival and Wow what a performance. We will be in St.Petersburg Fl for you concert next week. Can't wait to shake your hand!!( And we are sailing on the Coutry cruise in January, life is good!) Thank you so much for your support of the Wounded Warrior program, thanks for your love of God, family and country. Your are an amazing man. Not to mention you have got one hell of a smile!! Bet you gave your mamma fits!! You are a man with a good heart and soul, thanks for just being you.
God's blessings to you and yours PKB

You inspire me to play the guitar!!!! | Reviewer: Angelea Cummings | 11/18/12

Dear Trace Adkins- Your songs speaks to ma.ny people s souls and inspires them to do more! I wish I could just meet you so you can sign my guitar! I'm practicing hard, just for you!!!! So I hope that you take a look at this and just see that I love your music because you have a great voice! I love you a
Trace Adkins and hope you make way more awesome songs!!!!!!!

Sprint Center KC MO | Reviewer: Sherry | 2/23/11

I have been to several concerts including Elvis and even caught his Scarf.. Absolutely nothing has topped you and Toby at Sprint Center In KC MO. Unfortunately I do not have but a few months to live and neither one of you are playing anywhere close to me this year. But I just wanted you to know that you are so wonderful. Your songs are so heart felt or really get up and go songs that make you laugh and feel good. Life can be short so enjoy everyday and especially your beautiful family. I think you are super good looking, and a wonderful artist. I will be watching you when I make it heaven. I promise. I do not know if this will get to you but some day I hope it does. Love you---Trace

Disappointed | Reviewer: Rowena Gail Snider | 12/7/10

I know you will probably not read this review and with all the other raving reviews it will not matter to you, but I have to say I was very disappointed in your performance Monday night for the American Country Music awards show. I know you said you were going to do it your way, but you were very rude, especially to Blake. Your mouth was foul and you used God's name in vain. You seemed very arrogant, sorry, but that is how you came across to me!!! I love your deep voice and lots of your music. Hope you don't become so stuck on yourself, you forget your manners and where you came from!!

Thank you sir, | Reviewer: David | 11/15/10

Mr. Adkins, I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your music, talent, and feelings put into your songs. Most importantly I wanted to say thank you. I am a former Marine, and Desert Storm vet. I appreciate the time and honor you show our men and women of the Armed Forces. Please continue your great work...It does not go unnoticed.

Blessed | Reviewer: Jennifer | 11/10/10

I fell in love with Trace Atkins when I heard "Ladies love country boys". His voice is a blessing from above, and I glad he makes the music that speaks to your soul. Trace Atkins gets better with time. He is one smooth, SEXY, drink of water.

New song | Reviewer: Jeni Whittington | 10/2/10

My ex- husband wrote a song that would be perfect for you to perform. Hopefully , you will take a couple of minutes to listen to it. It fits right in with your publicity with soldiers and it is a great song. Did I mention he is my EX-husband?

the best voice for country music | Reviewer: dermot mc guinness | 6/9/10

i am from ireland i found you on the internet, i love your music and your videos especialy i got my game on with rodney carrington, please get togeather again and make a movie or something i would like to see more of you in ireland

Trace Adkins | Reviewer: Brittney siwney | 2/15/10

A great person who cares for people and the people around him... If you heard about the car reck that happened two days ago you would see how he cares for people
thanks brittney siwney is not my real
name! I will tell 'm 14 and live in louisiana

thank you | Reviewer: Sharon W | 8/7/09

Dear Trace - just wanted to say thank you for following your dream and bring such great music to all of us country fans. Love you concerts, your voice and your smile. Your wife is a lucky lady to have you. Take care of your family and keep singing those wonderful songs. See you again when you come around to New Jersey...

Trace Adkins is Amazingly Superior | Reviewer: MK | 7/28/09

Trace Adkins is superior to so many other country music singers - in my opinion. He has a gift and I am personally grateful that he has chosen to share it with the rest of us. I saw him for the first time at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA. (Section 1 Row BB seat 2) and it was the best $180 (for 2 tickets) I've spent in a very long time. Trace was great - He was thrilling and exciting. Thank you Mr. Adkins for bringing joy to this world. You are THE triple H - Humble, Handsome and Huge! Where were you when I was 16 and couldn't find a boyfriend tall enough for me back then? (...and I'm only 5'10") PS. I don't usually blog about these things but you are worth it and I wanted to share my experience even in my 40's.

Common Ground Fest | Reviewer: Frances Gordon | 6/28/09

I am your no.1 fan.I seen you at Common Ground Fest.inLansing,Michigan,July 2008.You put on the greatest performance of any singer that I have ever seen.My husband is not a real country music fan but when he watched you perform he changed his mind about the music.We love you Trace and do not ever stop what you are doing.

Arlington | Reviewer: Sally | 11/27/08

I saw you in Boston in October. We were right up front and you ARE amazing. When you sung Arlington I cried. What an amazing beautiful song. You have done the fallen heros well. Im going to be in Baltimore in May and I will take my 13 year old daughter to Arlington because of that song. Your such an inspriation to us all, its going to be really hard to wait to see you perform X. Until than.....

number one man | Reviewer: JoAnn W. | 8/31/08

The first concert I was at was in 1999. I try to see you when ever you're close by. Your concerts are the best. I've seen many of your interviews you seem like a good man. There are so many of your songs that touch my soul & restore my faith.
There is a special side of you, that I hope many others see in you. Thank you for being you. I saw you last night in Metropolis, IL. As always I had a great time.

YOU ARE THE BEST | Reviewer: CAROL | 4/14/08

Trace, I saw you in Valdosta and I was so Over-Whelmed! You are the greatest artist in country music and I voted for you for the CMT Awards in all catagories. You are soooo SEXY and I love your voice and those SEXY moves.
Believe it or not, but I use to date a guy who could pass for your twin in all area's. Voice, Moves, Looks, and everytime I hear you, I think of him and how much ya'll resemble. Wonderful memories must I add-ha,ha.
Your wife Rhonda is a very lucky woman to have you, but I'm sure she knows that!
Keep on, Keepin On.

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