By MICHELLE SCHMIDT
His song “Take a Back Road,” the title song of his fourth album, talks about living in the moment and getting away from the noise of everyday life. Known as a soft-spoken and serious country singer, Atkins also appreciates the humor of life, as demonstrated in other hits like “Farmer’s Daughter,” “Watching You” and “If You’re Going Through Hell.”
We checked in with Atkins via email to ask a few questions about him and his music:
360: How has your music changed from your first album?
Atkins: I am much more comfortable as a producer these days. It is another way to be creative. I think the first album was quite intimidating and overwhelming. I’m a lot more relaxed for sure.
360: What messages do you focus on in your music?
Atkins: Songs about life, friends and family, overcoming challenges and celebrating life.
360: You seem to communicate both the ups and downs of life in a single song — rarely one extreme or another. Why do you think this approach connects with audiences?
Atkins: That’s life. It’s as much to remind myself sometimes that there are as many good days as bad days. If today went horrible, odds are you’ve got something to look forward to just around the corner.
360: How do you remain true to who you are when everyone has expectations of you?
Atkins: I’m not good at being a bunch of different personalities: this guy at this place, another guy to these people and trying to manage all these different people. I try to just be consistent and constant, steady and stable.
360: You’ve got a hit song, “Take a Back Road.” What are the ways you “take a back road” during your busy schedule?
Atkins: By taking back roads. I have an old Heritage Softail Harley and a ‘72 International Scout. I love getting lost and just taking my time.
360: What do you want your audience to take away from your performance?
Atkins: That I am grateful for them, and the feeling of being valued and uplifted.
360: What do you enjoy most about performing?
Atkins: The people!
360: What do you do when you’re not doing music?
Atkins: Family time, honey-do lists, hunt, fish, piddle.
If You Go:
Rodney Atkins will be performing at 7:30 p.m. July 9 at the Clearwater River Casino outside Lewiston. Tickets ($20-$60) are available at Ticketswest locations, ticketswest.com, (800) 325-SEAT or at the casino box office.
Schmidt can be contacted at email@example.com or at (208) 305-4578.