The second time has been something of a charm for country singer Rodney Atkins’ latest album, “It’s America.”
Though Atkins’ third album got off to a strong start in March 2009 — a No. 3 debut on Billboard’s country albums chart while the title track was his fifth No. 1 country hit — its momentum quickly stalled. But Atkins and his record company revved things up again by reissuing the album last June with another track, “Farmer’s Daughter,” that hit No. 5 on the country singles chart.
“The first time we played ‘Farmer’s Daughter’ was actually last New Year’s Eve in Nashville,” the Georgia-born Atkins, 41, who co-wrote the song, recalls. “It was, like, 10 degrees outside, but when I sang, ‘Just when I thought it could get no hotter/I caught a glimpse of the farmer’s daughter,’ the crowd just exploded. So I could tell it had something.
“At shows all through the summer, the crowds kept growing and growing. We started breaking attendance records, and people were showing up, little girls with T-shirts that said ‘I’m a farmer’s daughter!’ and people were singing along like crazy. It definitely felt like starting this (album) all over again.”
Atkins, however, is actually about to wrap up “It’s America.” He’s already started working on his next album and hopes to finish it early in 2011 for release later in the year.
“Some of the stuff is edgier than we’ve ever cut before,” he says. “I kind of went more aggressive with the tracks.”
Meanwhile, Atkins is happy Detroit’s Fox Theatre is one of the last stops for his 2010 touring year, since the venue holds a special place in his career.
“A few years ago, when I first got signed to Curb Records, the Rockettes were doing a (Christmas) show and I was asked to come out and play in the lobby,” Atkins recalls. “So we played this little acoustic set in this beautiful place, and I thought, ‘One day ... ’ And now here it is, so it will be a real thrill to actually get to play inside on the real stage.”
Rodney Atkins headlines the WYCD Christmas Show with Sara Evans, Jason Michael Carroll and Edens Edge on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $35. Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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