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Oct 25, 201211:52 AMThe Telegraph

The Premier Blog of the West

A Conversation With Country Singer Easton Corbin

Oct 25, 2012 - 11:52 AM
A Conversation With Country Singer Easton Corbin

Photography: Jim Wright

The 30-year-old Florida native and traditional country crooner chats about his new album All Over the Road.


Cowboys & Indians: I’ve got to ask, first, if your stage name is your real name.

Easton Corbin: It’s definitely real. It’s actually my middle name. My first name is Dan, and my dad’s name is Dan, so everybody called me Easton. It’s always been that way.

C&I: Well, it’s a great name, however you got it.

Corbin: Thank you. It works for what I do. [Laughs.]

C&I: Before we get into the music, tell me what you like to do when you get time away from performing.

Corbin: I stay pretty busy, being an up-and-coming artist and all. You kind of eat, sleep, and breathe it at this stage. But when I’m not doing that, I live in Nashville and, of course, I like to ride motorcycles and shoot guns, and fish and hunt, and all that good stuff. I bring my motorcycle on the road, but it’s hard to get out.

C&I: I don’t think you’ll mind me saying that your new album, All Over The Road, gives off a George Strait vibe. Very laid-back, easy to like. Is that style what you’ve evolved into naturally, or is it what you’ve tried to do from the beginning?

Corbin: I’ll put it this way: I love traditional country music. I grew up on Merle Haggard; he and George Jones and Keith Whitley are probably my biggest influences. Love those guys. It’s just what I’ve always done. I never meant it to come out sounding like George Strait; it just kind of comes out how it does. Of course, there’ll never be another George Strait. I’m doing it in my own way.

C&I: Of course. I wasn’t saying you’re a copy, by any means.

Corbin: Oh, no, no. I didn’t take it like that. It’s a huge compliment, because George Strait’s one of my heroes, too. The great thing about him and Alan Jackson and people like them is that their music will never go out of style. It’s not a fad. That’s the quality I love.

C&I: Same here. And I don’t think there’s enough of that classic sound on country radio nowadays.

Corbin: It’s a different sound on the radio right now. Not in the traditional vein; I’ll say that.

C&I: Are there other more traditional country artists in the game right now with whom you feel a kinship?

Corbin: There are some new, new guys … You’ve got Greg Bates, Craig Campbell. Dustin Lynch is kind of doing his thing right now, too. But I love Joe Nichols, man. He’s a little older than me, but he can do that Haggard stuff so well.

C&I: You were a newcomer the last time around, so how was making the second album different in terms of scope and vision?

Corbin: We were very blessed to have success on the first record — more than I ever thought, you know? So coming into the sophomore record, it’s one of those deals where there’s more pressure. It’s like, the first record’s out there, and now they want to see what we’re coming with. You’re competing against yourself, and you want the second one to be just as good or better. Honestly, I feel that we’ve done that with this record.

C&I: What are a few favorite tracks from it that stick out in your mind, at least today?

Corbin: You’ve heard it, right?

C&I: Yes, and I should tell you that the last two songs — the kiss-off tune “Tulsa Texas” and the ballad “I Think Of You” — are my favorites at the moment.

Corbin: Oh, great, thank you! The songs that I’m excited about, and the ones that are single contenders, I think: You’ve got the title track, “All Over The Road,” a feel-good song. You’ve got “Dance Real Slow,” a very traditional country tune. And one on there that’s really special and different — something I’ve never done before and shows a little growth as an artist — is “Are You With Me.”

C&I: What defining qualities do you look for when you pick the songs that will make the album’s final cut?

Corbin: Well, I think there’s something for everybody on the record. But I really just look for something that I love and relate to, because I figure that if I can do that, my fans will as well.

Easton Corbin will perform at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas on Oct. 28. Click here to learn more about the artist and to find a list of his upcoming tour dates.

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