Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2014

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TRACE ADKINS:

‘Free-thinking roughneck’ makes time for Primm, Vegas

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James Minchin / Publicity Photo

Country music star Trace Adkins is taking on a smaller workload this year after performing 140 shows in 2008. He will perform at two venues this weekend in Southern Nevada.

Trace Adkins

If You Go

  • Who: Trace Adkins
  • When: 8 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Star of the Desert Arena, Primm
  • Tickets: $43.95 to $71.45; 382-4388 or 382-1212

Sun Blogs

Beyond the Sun

Country music star Trace Adkins performs double duty on a swing through Southern Nevada this weekend.

The singer with the deep, resonant voice will perform Saturday in Primm and Sunday at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand. At the awards show, he’ll sing “Til the Last Shot’s Fired,” backed by the West Point Glee Club. Adkins is nominated for Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for his No. 1 hit “You’re Gonna Miss This.”

The ACMA ceremony will air live from the MGM Grand Ballroom at 8 p.m. on CBS. All profits from downloads of his performance will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that provides extensive support to soldiers who have been wounded in combat.

Adkins, a self-described “free-thinking roughneck,” has had a string of hits, including “This Ain’t No Thinkin’ Thing,” “I Left Something Turned on at Home,” “Arlington,” “Ladies Love Country Boys” and “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.”

Adkins recently talked to the Sun by phone from his home south of Nashville.

1. West Point Glee Club

Using the military choir was the idea of Frank Rogers, who produced Adkins’ last album, “X (Ten).”

“We were in the studio,” Adkins says. “He said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a choir singing the last chorus a cappella.’ I go, ‘Yeah, that’d be great. Use a military choir or something.’

“We ended up getting the West Point Glee Club. It wasn’t really difficult, just had to go through some red tape to get permission from the Pentagon to use them, but that’s the way it ought to be. It will be an exciting part of the award show program. I went up to West Point to rehearse with them. They’re excited about it.”

2. Summer tour

Adkins will team up with country star Toby Keith this summer on the America’s Toughest Tour, which begins June 18 in Holmdel, N.J.

“I’m really looking forward to it. It ought to be fun,” Adkins says. “I thought for years that it made a lot of sense for us to tour together. We kind of share a fan base. Our music’s not that dissimilar. We come from the same cut of cloth. I just thought it made sense. We’ve hung out some over the years, spoke some, but we’ve never had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together so I’m looking forward to it.”

3. ‘Marry for Money’

Adkins’ latest hit is “Marry For Money.” The humorous song was released in November, hit the Top 20 within a few weeks of its release and still is riding high on the Billboard country chart.

“It’s doing good. I heard that it was the fastest-rising of my career, up to this point, but I don’t know.”

4. Bad times, great fans

In these economic times, Adkins appreciates his fans more than ever.

“I haven’t always made it a habit to seriously thank my fans for spending their hard-earned money on us,” he says. “But I do that now. I know what it costs them to come to one of my shows, and I know how things are — so I really appreciate it.

“As far as the economy goes, I’m just as at a loss and confused as everybody else. I think we all know the problems, but nobody knows the solution at this point. We’re all just treading water, trying to get through this thing. I’m optimistic, sure. But for the short term it may, who knows, it might get a little worse. But I don’t see a collapse.”

5. Finding balance

Adkins says he’s struggling to find a balance between his flourishing career and a family life.

“In October last year we sat down — myself and my management company and agents. I just said, ‘Look, I did 140 shows this year. There’s no way I’m going to do that next year. I want to do about half that,’ ” he says.

“I was just gone entirely too much. I missed my 3-year-old’s whole third year, almost. So I made a decision last year to not tour as much this year. It makes me look like I was a prophet, like I knew there wasn’t going to be as much work. But I’m not a prophet. I’m just a lazy guy that didn’t want to work that much this year.”

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