Catching up with country star Rodney Atkins before he hits Phoenix and Tucson this weekend

Country music star Rodney Atkins has been serenading crowds for over a decade with his anthem-like hits such as “If You’re Going Through Hell,” “Watching You” and “It’s America."  In fact, the singer/songwriter has had six career No. 1 songs.  

He’s taking them all on the road with his Greatest Hits Tour, which is hitting Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill in Phoenix Thursday and then Tucson at the Rialto Theatre on Sunday.

Atkins said it's an amazing feat for an artist to release a greatest hits album and is looking forward to bringing it to his fans. 

“It’s every artist’s dream to release a greatest hits album,” he said. “I’m just so thankful that I’ve gotten that opportunity and that my songs resonate with so many people.

Smaller venues are just one example of the type of places Atkins will visit on the current tour. He’ll be playing at a variety of different places, including the Gratifonia Music Festival in Pennsylvania, the Columbia County Fair in New York and the Marion (Ohio) Popcorn Festival, just to name a few.

“I like playing all sorts of different venues because it allows me to play my music for all sorts of different people,” Atkins said.

The singer said that despite playing both large and small venues, he doesn’t necessarily prefer one type of venue over the other.

“Sometimes I’ll play a big venue and the vibe of the crowd will be totally different and maybe more mellow than I expected,” Atkins said. “But on the other hand, sometimes the smallest of venues can have a really lively, rowdy crowd. I like playing them both because the audiences are so different and that’s what really makes the shows fun for me.”

Joining Atkins on this tour is the singer’s wife and fellow singer and songwriter Rose Falcon.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on the road with me,” Atkins said. “She’s one of the most talented women I know and getting to see her shine every night when we’re on the road is one of the best things I could ever ask for.”

The couple have been collaborating on writing and cutting a song together, although they have yet to finish a track.

“We don’t just want to record something together to say we did,” Atkins said. “We really want to make it something special and something that benefits both of our sounds. We’re working on it but we’re just not there quite yet.”

Whereas a normal tour may be about mixing classic hits with songs from a new record, Atkins said that this tour is mostly about the hits and making them shine. But instead of stripping down the stage performances, the singer said it's his goal to do the opposite.

“For this tour, everybody knows the music and everybody knows the songs, so we want to make sure they have the best time possible hearing their favorite tunes,” Atkins said.

Despite performing the same songs for years, Atkins said that he enjoys performing them more and more each time and that the memories attached to certain songs makes performing them even more enjoyable.

“I remember one of the first times I performed ‘If You’re Going Through Hell’ I looked out into the front row and there was a little girl wearing a mask and who had been going through treatment for cancer singing every word of the song,” Atkins said. “That was just one of those moments that reminded me why I do what I do and why I love what I do."

Related Links:

Student to start Country Music Association EDU chapter at ASU

Joel Crouse's debut album a comprehensive country listen


Reach the reporter at seweinst@asu.edu or follow @S_Weinstein95 on Twitter.

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