Traditional country music will be on tap when Easton Corbin takes to the Main Stage at the Washington Town and Country Thursday night, Aug. 7. The show begins at 8:30 p.m.
Named the Top New Country Artist by Billboard in 2010, Easton Corbin “has one of those rare, glorious voices that was made — just made — for singing country music,” according to American Songwriter.
“Somewhere up there in hillbilly heaven, Keith Whitley is smiling down as his legacy continues to affect new generations,” The Hollywood Reporter has said of Corbin.
And Entertainment Weekly agreed, saying “ . . . He is singing old-school songs, full of wit and heart,” and “It sounds effortless. . . . sit back and remember why you fell in love with country music in the first place.”
As a former FFA member, Corbin recently partnered with Ram Truck brand and FFA to celebrate the “Year of the Farmer” by visiting and performing for FFA members in numerous cities along his fall/winter tour route.
Ethan Busse, editor of The Missourian’s online arts and music section known as Currents, spoke with Corbin about his career and the show he’ll have here next week. Following are highlights of that interview:
Currents: We’re excited to have you come out to play our Fair. Anything we can tell your fans out here to expect from a show like that?
We like to get out there and we like the fans to get into it and be as wild as they want to be — they’re going to hear some country music.
I’ve been working on a new record here and I had a single out, “Clockwork” . . . I’m not sure when the record will be out yet, but we’re working on it.
Currents: Is there something that you prefer more about playing the country fairs, than the big stadiums that’s more real or connected with the heartland?
I love doing the fairs and stuff. It’s fun. It makes me feel at home when I come up and do those fairs.
I grew up going to FFA and 4-H, showing cattle at the fairs, so it really makes me feel at home.
And too, a lot of times at the country fairs and festivals, sometimes people have more access to that than maybe playing a big arena or a bar where only 21 and up can get in, at a fair and festival, it’s all ages out there. So it’s an opportunity for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come.
Currents: So how did you get your start with music in general? Was it family influenced?
Yeah, my dad and grandpa always sang and stuff like that, but music’s just always been something that I’ve loved and been connected with. I love it.
Currents: How was the ride to stardom for you?
It’s like probably anybody else. There’s challenges and things like that. I remember moving to Nashville, not having very much money at all. So you’re working a day job, you’re struggling, with that you’re writing and singing and trying to meet the right people. And luckily for me, through God, I was able to meet the right people.
Currents: You seem to really relate to hard-working fans and real, honest people. That’s really who you are and how you feel.
So were your big No. 1 singles, “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It,” where they a surprise for you? Had you had other songs in mind that you thought would do differently?
You know, as a new artist, it’s tough out there. I didn’t know that was going to happen obviously. That was the hope, anyway. Then it did happen, and thank God it did.
Currents: Once you started playing the bigger shows, did that take some getting used to?
Absolutely, it all evolves your shows and you get used to playing different venues and the feel is definitely different from venue to venue.
Currents: You are a big traditional country believer, have you gotten to meet any of your heroes or tour with them?
I’ve actually gotten to meet Merle Haggard. I’ve seen his show a couple times. So when I got to meet him, that was a dream come true, man. He’s my biggest hero, for sure.
Currents: We asked our readers to submit questions for you and the most popular one was ‘Are you single?’
For more information on Easton Corbin, people can visit his website, www.eastoncorbin.com, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.