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Singer Jason Aldean will perform Saturday at Big Spring Jam in Huntsville.
Courtesy photo
Singer Jason Aldean will perform Saturday at Big Spring Jam in Huntsville.

Aldean to get 'buck wild' at Jam
Singer to perform at downtown Huntsville event

By Patrice Stewart
and Andrea Brunty 340-2446

"Hicktown" put him on the map, and Jason Aldean will be getting "buck wild" with the country rock jam Saturday in downtown Huntsville.

And though the singer is not sure what to expect when he performs for the first time at Big Spring Jam, "it sounds like a pretty big deal," he said.

The 30-year-old singer is no stranger to tours, however, logging as many as 200 days a year on the road. For the second year in a row Aldean has joined Rascal Flatts on tour, where the popular group is selling from 10,000 to 25,000 tickets a show, he said.

"It's fun to go out and play before that many people every night," he said.

Aldean's first single in 2005 , "Hicktown," was written by Texas native John Rich, but you could easily find places in the "boondocks" in Aldean's native Georgia. The 30-year-old was raised in Macon, which is the Southern rock home of the Allman Brothers, Otis Redding and Little Richard.

"I thought the song was funny, and we put it out there," he said. "It's funny how many people grabbed onto that song."

That upbeat twangy song helped Aldean's self-titled debut album go platinum, along with solid singles "Why" and "Amarillo Sky."

Reinforced with recent top 10 hit "Johnny Cash," his sophomore record "Relentless" entered Billboard's Country Albums Chart at No. 1 this summer.

In 2006, he took home the Top New Male Vocalist honor from the Academy of Country Music, and was voted "Superstar of the Future" in an annual fan poll.

In the business of awards, Aldean said he doesn't put much stock in winning or losing.

"Anytime you win an award it's exciting. ... It is what it is — somebody's opinion — but if somebody thinks that much of us, I appreciate it," Aldean said. "At the same time, it's a business.

"But you just go out and do what you do and if you do it right, things will fall into place."

In August, he was nominated for the Horizon Award for the Country Music Awards. Past winners include Garth Brooks, Dixie Chicks, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley. The awards show will be broadcast Nov. 7.

The rising star has nothing but admiration for singers who have come before him.

"It's hard not to look up to guys like George Strait and others who've been around 30 years or so," he said. "If I'm able to keep doing this for 30 years, it would be great; even 10 years would be awesome. You have to look up to them and respect them for what they've accomplished."

Though the humble singer said he can't take all the credit for his success.

"I'm the one kind of out in front ... but it's a team thing, and there are a lot of people behind the scenes who work hard," Aldean said.

"We've won 'em and we've lost 'em — (we've) been on both ends of that deal. ... At the end of the day, you still get to play music and have a job that you love."

Aldean plays anything from Waylon Jennings to Guns N' Roses — "a little bit of everything," he said.

Now, he wants to show fans he can tackle a diverse range of songs with his album "Relentless."

"Johnny Cash" has Aldean telling off his boss before hijacking his girlfriend to Las Vegas to get married.

In real life, Aldean lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters, one 4 years and one almost 6 weeks old, who has already taken her first road trip to hear Daddy perform.

The sentimental side of the new second-time dad emerges in his latest single, the mid-tempo ballad "Laughed Until We Cried."

"It's completely different from anything else I've done — autobiographical in a way," he said.

"I experienced a lot of the stuff in that song, which includes things I could relate to — graduating from high school and telling everybody goodbye as everybody moves on to next phase of their lives."

And a musician's work is never done. Aldean said he expects to start recording a third album toward the end of the year.

"We're constantly working on something. You take a couple months to reflect on the last one and start again," he said.

Big Spring Jam, which features more than more than 70 artists including LeAnn Rimes, Sawyer Brown, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Foreigner, begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends Sunday night in Big Spring International Park. Jason Aldean will perform on the WDRM 102.1 stage at 10:15 p.m. Saturday night.

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