Country star Blake Shelton loves his Six Paks — but not those kind of six packs.
Shelton’s “Hillbilly Bone,” a six-track EP rather than a full album, came out in March and debuted at No. 2 on the Country Albums charts and No. 3 on the Top 200. Its title track, a collaboration with Trace Adkins, hit No. 1 on the country charts, was the Academy of Country Music’s Vocal Event of the Year and won a CMT Music Award for Best Collaborative Video.
His next Six Pak, meanwhile, comes out Aug. 10 and already has a hit in “All About Tonight,” the fastest rising single of Shelton’s career to date.
“Because of the way we’re making records these days, we’re constantly getting first crack at everybody’s songs in town,” explains Shelton, 33, whose fiance, fellow country star Miranda Lambert, co-wrote another song for the next Six Pak, “Suffocating,” with Hilary Scott from Lady Antebellum. “They know as soon as we hear something we like we’ll go cut it, and chances are we’ll have another album coming out in a matter of three or four months at any given time.
“In fact,” he adds, “I don’t write as much as I should because we’re getting all these great songs from the top songwriters in Nashville, and I can’t keep up with that.”
Shelton does plan to make another full-length album, which he says “shouldn’t be that far off,” but he clearly enjoys making what he calls “dynamite in a small package” with the Six Paks.
“It does make me feel more creative,” says Shelton, who filmed his May 26 concert in Evansville, Ind., for an upcoming DVD and hoped-for television special. “It’s ongoing recording, which is a lot of fun for me. If we’ve got one song or five songs that we’re excited about, we’ll go in and cut ‘em right then, and after we have a catalog of songs that we’re excited about we’ll decide which ones really fit together.
“I feel like I’m making a mini greatest hits every time I put out one of these, ’cause I just feel strongly about each and every one of those songs.”
Blake Shelton, Joe Nichols and Chris Young perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 20, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Clarkston. Tickets are $45 and $35 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to