Resiliency key for Trace Adkins

As radio play wanes, country star finds success elsewhere

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    Trace Adkins


  • Trace Adkins
    Trace Adkins

    There may not be a more resilient singer in country music than Trace Adkins.

    The man was shot through the heart by an ex-wife, escaped death in truck and tractor accidents, and battled drug and alcohol addictions. He overcame all those things to become one of the most consistent hit-makers in the industry, an artist with multiple No. 1 hits.

    Friday night, he’ll be Centennial Terrace in in Sylvania, and he’s promising to roll out his greatest hits

    His latest adversary — vanishing youth, accompanied by a dying radio career — is one that he’s not going to beat. It’s a known fact that it becomes an uphill battle — often lost — for aging artists to compete with up-and-coming stars for radio play. Adkins, 51, hasn’t had a hit since “Gone Fishin’” in 2011, and his last major hit was “You’re Gonna Miss This” in 2008.

    PEACH WEEKENDER: Find more things to do, concerts to hear, and places to see this weekend.

    “It’s like Toby [Keith] said to me, ‘One day radio is going to get tired of playing our stuff.’ And I’m probably there. I’ve probably been there for the last three or four years,” Adkins said in a telephone interview. “I’m not going to be bitter about it. When they started playing my record in 1996, they stopped playing someone else’s. That’s just the way it works.”

    Adkins, who will play at Centennial Terrace Friday, ran into that reality with the May release of “Love Will …,” an album which sold 25,000 copies in the first week but then quickly fizzled. The first single, a collaboration with Colbie Caillat called “Watch the World End,” never gained any type of momentum with radio programmers. There probably won’t be a second single off of the love song-themed record.

    “To be quite honest with you, the record really has been a big disappointment for me. I felt it would do really well. I felt radio would play that single with Colbie Caillat and myself. It just didn’t work out,” Adkins said. “Who knows what happened? I’ll shoulder part of the responsibility myself. I chose that single. I thought with Colbie on it that it would help. Truthfully, I loved that song. I think it’s one of the most profound love songs I’ve recorded.”

    It wasn’t meant to be, and Adkins moved on. He recently wrapped up his first Christmas album, which will probably hit stores in October.

    “For me, musically it’s the favorite record I’ve ever made. I made the Christmas record that I’ve wanted to make for a decade or so. The label balked at it when I was at Capitol. Now [at Show Dog], I’m in position to do what I wanted to do. It’s very traditional, all public domain songs, songs that are all over 100 years old.”

    As his radio success wanes, the doors are opening in other areas for Adkins. Earlier this year, he was the winner on Donald Trump’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, raising more than $1.5 million for the Red Cross. For years, he’s expressed an interest in acting. He had a prominent role in The Lincoln Lawyer in 2011 and now has two starring roles in upcoming films. Later this year, he will appear in a remake of The Virginian, where he reprises the role of the cattle rancher’s enforcer, starring opposite Ron Perlman. In early 2014, he plays a tough guy helping a couple of women track down a missing baby in Mom’s Night Out.

    “When you’re on the set, whether it’s for television or a movie, you’re surrounded by talented, creative people. I find it a stimulating environment to be in.”

    But nothing satisfies him more than being on stage. “I’m a country music fan too. If I go to hear George Strait or Alan Jackson, whoever, if they don’t do the songs I hear on the radio, I’m disappointed. That’s the stuff I want to hear. I’ll do some stuff for fun, some covers, but mostly it’s a greatest hits show.

    “I still enjoy my time on stage, being out there with some of my best friends in the world playing music with me. We’re like brothers and have fun doing it. As long as I’m having fun, I’m going to keep doing it.”

    Concertgoers should be aware of road construction that could affect getting to the show. Westbound Monroe Street will be closed to through traffic at Silica Drive. The road closure will extend west from Erie Street to Little Road. To access Centennial Terrace & Quarry or Pacesetter Park the following detour is in place: Main Street (south), to Brint Road (west), to Centennial Road (north) to Sylvania-Metamora (west).

    Trace Adkins will be in concert Friday at 8 p.m. at Centennial Terrace in Sylvania. Tickets are available at the Stranahan Theater box office, by phone at 419-381-8851, or online at Reserved seats are $51.50. General admission, where you may stand or use a small chair, is $32.50.

    Contact Brian Dugger at