Friday, April 11, 2008

Trace Adkins takes a personal stand

I didn’t know much about Trace Adkins, other than the fact that he’s a bass-voiced country singer and a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Then while channel-surfing last month, I caught an episode of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice. I became intrigued by contestant Adkins, who stood out as a calm, honorable man in the midst of chaos. So I put a few of his tunes on the CD player and hunkered down with his book.

A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck isn’t strictly a memoir or an autobiography, though it certainly reveals the tough life Adkins has lived. He grew up in small town Louisiana, spent a couple years in college, and worked on oil pipelines and offshore before hitting the honky-tonk circuit. Along the way to county music success, he’s been married 3 times, has been injured seriously 4 or 5 times (his second wife accidentally shot him), has fathered 5 daughters, and has overcome addictions to drugs and alcohol. This background has made Adkins a man who knows what he wants from life and for his family.

Intertwined with his story, Adkins presents his own conservative beliefs about Republicans, politics, immigration, unions, education, parenting, working hard, and the music business. Controversial? Somewhat. Will you agree with him? Maybe not. Adkins comes across as a man who thinks for himself and has good reasons for what he believes. You have to admire that in him.

Read A Personal Stand and discover Trace Adkins. The vignettes in his book remind me strongly of the lyrics in one of his country hits, Songs About Me:

cause it’s songs about me
and who I am
songs about loving and living
and good hearted women and family and God
yeah they're all just
songs about me
songs about me

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