About The Artist
The Set List
Soundcheck caught up with Aldean in Tennessee and talked candidly with the rising country star about life on the road and his excellent new record, 'Relentless.' Performing tracks from the new album and his critically acclaimed debut, we're proud to present our exclusive set with Jason Aldean. Enjoy.
The Moment of Arrival
Every country star remembers the first taste of success. We asked Jason about the moment when his dream of fame became a reality. Explains Aldean: "We had a moment. We were actually playing a show in Portland, Oregon, and it's the one show that we all look at as the turning point of everything. People were coming to the club or wherever we were playing because that just happened to be where they partied on a Friday night - not really to come see us. We played this little club... and we hit the stage. The club was completely sold out, and we went into 'Hicktown' and started playing the song. I just remember we couldn't hear what we were playing because everybody was singing so loud. That was the first time we kinda looked at each other after the song and said, 'This looks like it's going pretty good. People are hearing this thing - other than just in my own home town - and that's a good sign!'"
How to Hear a Hit
Making a great record is about having a good ear. Though Aldean often writes his own songs, he enlisted a team of Nashville songwriters to help compose 'Relentless,' including good buddies Big & Rich. How does he know when he hears a good tune? He explains: "I usually find myself playing that song over and over. I'll take songs that we find, put 'em on a disc, put 'em in my truck... and I listen to it over and over. The songs that I find myself going back to, those are the ones that for some reason strike a nerve with me. Those are the ones that I seem to focus on more. If it's a song that I just hear a couple of times and I lose interest in after a couple of plays, I kind of assume everyone else is going to do the same thing. At the end of the day, it's just about recording the stuff that you like to sing, things that you think everybody wants to hear. That's been my strategy so far."
His 'Diva' List
"Three things that I can't live without on tour? My diva list? Golf clubs, 'cuz we gotta play golf about four times a week, cell phone... and DVDs!"
It's easy to see why the Academy of Country Music selected Jason Aldean as last year's Top New Male Vocalist. The husky-voiced Georgian makes meaningful music that's produced with pure Southern charm. Whether he's praising the honky-tonk kitsch of his favorite 'Hicktown' or paying tribute to music legend Johnny Cash, Aldean embodies country at its finest. His new album 'Relentless' continues where his platinum-selling stellar debut left off. Go pick up a copy today.
-The Crew at Wal-Mart Soundcheck
- Jason Aldine Williams was born February 28, 1977 in Macon, Georgia. He's 30 years old.
- His father encouraged his musical interests from an early age. Jason's first public performance occurred at age 14 at a Macon Hall. Just one year later, he was making money singing in a house band at a local nightclub.
- He's a happily married man. Aldean married his high-school sweetheart, Jessica, on August 4, 2001. The couple has two children: Keeley and Kendyl.
- His self-titled 2005 debut album has sold more than a million copies
- He's already achieved a country milestone. Aldean made his Grand Ole Opry debut on May 13, 2005.
- Once a country boy, always a country boy. Aldean lives in Thompson's Station, Tennessee.
Clad in a cowboy hat, short-sleeved plaid shirt, and strumming his beloved guitar, Aldean kicks off the energetic set with 'Amarillo Sky,' a fan favorite from his self-titled 2005 debut album. 'Amarillo Sky' conjures up country storytelling at its most vivid; the song (originally recorded by McBride & the Ride) tells the tale of a Texan farmer's fight with rising prices and natural disasters: "Please don't let my dreams run dry," pleads Aldean in his sharpest Southern twang. "I never complain, I never ask why... underneath this Amarillo Sky."
The first single from Aldean's new album, 'Relentless,' is a boot-shakin' ode to the undisputable King of Country. Already a runaway hit (and the fastest-rising single of his career,) Aldean rocks our Soundcheck stage with a rousing rendition inspired by a rebellious life lived on the road. Sings Aldean: "Blastin' out to Johnny Cash, headin' for the highway. Baby, we ain't ever comin' back!"
"Why do I always use the words that cut the deepest when I know how much it hurts you? Why do I do that to you?" Like many of the tracks from Aldean's new record, 'Why' isn't afraid to travel to darker lyrical places. Written by Rodney Clawson, Vicky McGehee and John Rich for his solo debut, 'Why' features affecting lyrics about a love that cuts too deep. Poignant and painful, 'Why' became the singer's first number one single on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.
Laughed Until We Cried
Saving the best for last, Aldean performs his inspiring new single, 'Laughed Until We Cried.' The second single from 'Relentless,' 'Laughed Until We Cried' is a nostalgic look back at the bittersweet 'good old days' - and a salute to the importance of humor. Sings Aldean: "It's like the best days under the sun. Every emotion rolled into one. A little of this, a little of that, kinda happy, kinda sad." A fitting ending, perhaps, for Aldean's diverse set of foot-tapping tunes and tender country ballads.