The nighttime crowds have been humongous.
I ran into (a problem) with 'Almost Home' because we put out the next single a little early, so we're not trying to do that. We're trying to keep the bases loaded.
I have been very fortunate from the get-go because I am a songwriter and was writing songs and was fortunate enough that I was getting pitched top-shelf songs because the songwriters were my friends.
I think once I figured out where my groove was or my thing that everybody started honing in on what they could pitch me. I demoed a lot of great songs that I didn't cut, and some turned into big hits like 'Roundabout Way,' and 'Ten Rounds With Jose Cuervo,' but they just didn't work for me.
'My Kind of Livin'.
I think (redneck) used to be considered a derogatory term, but not anymore. Now it's considered more of a lifestyle than anything.
They're scared. It's understandable. It's not a safe and fun place, and a lot of people don't want to take the chance.
We'll head to Iraq around December 23rd and stay over there until after New Years, because it's hard for soldiers to get entertainment during the holidays. I'm not doing that so people think I'm doing something great, ... I'm doing that because I know what it's like and I remember being there during Christmas and not having anybody from home. It's a very emotional, roller coaster ride for me when I'm there because there's times when I feel so grateful for what I do (now), and times that I feel guilty for what I'm doing because I'm not working there (as a soldier).
This is a good process, though.
It seems like being an independent doesn't hurt you now. I think the times are changing, and I think our fans have realized their decisions in music buying and requesting on the radio have made a difference.
I'm honored to receive this award. I feel entertainers are obligated to give back, especially to those who make such huge sacrifices.