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A little More Country Than That

Hernando Today correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: May 3, 2013 at 01:24 PM

“A good country song takes a page out of somebody's life and puts it to music.” –Conway Twitty

Easton Corbin couldn’t have written a better plan for his life as a country artist if he’d been given the pen, an empty notebook and the creative freedom to express without boundaries.

Just four years into his professional recording career, Corbin has already reached a status most aspiring country artists could only dream about.

His impressive resume boasts two number-one hits from his self-titled debuting album, which was released in 2010. “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It” both hit the number-one slot on the country music charts.

He became the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach No. 1. Billboard named Easton the Top New Country Artist of 2010 and named "Roll With It" the No. 6 Hot Country Song of the Year. He was ranked No. 9 on Billboard’s list of Top Country Artists-Male, listed between Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw, according to a provided biography.

Easton Corbin also won awards in every break-through artist category in 2010 from the Academy of Country Music. And he tied with Lady Antebellum for the most nominations earned.

And that’s only the beginning. Easton Corbin was named Top New Country Artist of 2010 with “Roll With It” ranking number six and “A Little More Country Than That” ranking number 19.

Corbin’s second album, All Over the Road, was released in September with two more hit singles; “Loving You Is Fun” and the title track, “All Over the Road,” soaring to up the charts.

Despite top acknowledgements and a career that seems to be accelerating on the fast track, Easton Corbin has maintained his boyish charm and humbled, very approachable demeanor.

Perhaps much of that confident manner was rooted from a childhood of wholesome values, taught to him by his grandparents in Gilchrest County where Corbin grew up.

Trenton, Florida, is far removed from the busier metro cities, moving at a pace that still takes notice of the simple beauty in natural surroundings. Corbin grew up in that environment, fishing in the lazy Suwannee River and working on his grandparents’ cattle farm.

He also embraced the values of farming, participating in 4-H and FHA and showing livestock at the county fair. And he earned his business degree in agriculture from the University of Florida.

Corbin’s passions are deeply rooted in his internal makeup and his appreciation for traditional country music enhanced by his time spent watching the Grand Ole Opry with his grandparents,; specifically Opry Backstage and Opry Live.

He took the initiative on his own to learn to play guitar, through a local musician, Pee Wee Melton, who Corbin praised for his skill as a player and a teacher. “He was a really big influence on me,” Corbin said.

With Melton’s encouragement, Corbin joined a local band. “We’d play school functions and parties,” Corbin said. “We were too young to play bars, but we played everything else.”

He got his first real break after auditioning at a local music store, which led to his slot on the Suwannee River Jam, a festival that attracted nationally recognized touring acts. “It was just me and a guitar in front of a 40-acre field full of people,” Corbin said. That experience in front of a crowd of eager fans led to his becoming the opening act for national artists like Janie Fricke and Mel McDaniel when they performed at the festival.

Corbin moved to Nashville, and from that point on his career took flight. The unique quality of his voice and the passion he reflects while performing were “discovered” by James Yelich, a Nashville booking agent, and Joe Fisher, the senior director for Universal Music Group Nashville. Corbin was signed to their label.

And the rest, you might say, is history.

Easton Corbin is quick to acknowledge his love for traditional classic country music that he said was influenced by names like the late George Jones, Merle Haggard, George Strait and Keith Whitley. While his music is deep-rooted in classic poignant lyrics and grounded in traditional country styles, he also brings a fresh perspective to the genre that has the unique ability to bridge gaps between musical genres.

On Saturday, Easton Corbin will bring that passion and enthusiasm to visitors at the second annual Blueberry Festival in Brooksville as the headlining event for the festival. Tickets are $20.

Corbin will be touring with Blake Shelton this summer, because of that, his time is limited. However, he was eager to accept the invitation to play in Florida since this is where his dreams began.

“Any chance we can get back to Florida is an opportunity,” Corbin said. “First of all, it’s my home. And we don’t get there often enough.”

Easton Corbin is a true artist who is “unapologetically country.”

His strongest influences, like Merle Haggard, “made the music so real,” Corbin said. “Not only were they great singers but they were so real. They made you believe.”

Tickets for Easton Corbin can be purchased online at www.florida?blueberryfestival.com.


Kim Dame is a correspondent for Hernando Today. She can be reached at Damewrite@yahoo.com.

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