11. Can you tell us about you and your wife’s first date?
Our first date was having me over. She cooked for me for our first date. It was really good. It was crawfish étouffée. That was one of my favorite things that I ever had. (laughs) They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I believe they’re right. (laughs)
12. What is your favorite thing to eat?
I like fish. I like saltwater fish like halibut. Or red snapper.
13. Being a family man, do you often find life on the road harder on you or your family? How is it that you and Lori are able to cope?
I think it is equally hard on both — me and family. I think that you have to call every day. A lot of times, I will call three or four times a day to talk to the kids. It is really important to stay in contact, so they know you are thinking about them. I think that sometimes people visualize that all we do is have fun on the road. I love the road, but. … There is no normal life, there’s just life. You take what you have and you make the best of it. I’ve always been that way, no matter what job I was working in. I want to teach my kids to do the same thing. Don’t let life dictate to you what your attitude is going to be. You really have to be in control of your attitudes because that is the only thing we really are in control of.
14. I met you once in person and you seemed shy. I thought you were more talkative. Do you find it hard, even now, to address a group of people for a meet and greet? I imagine it is still hard, but you are a great performer.
I am not extremely shy. There are other times where I do feel a little more shy than others. But I like people, and I like being around people. It doesn’t bother me to be in public or in crowds. I go to Wal-Mart in my hometown and I shop there. I see people from the town that I live in, and they treat me just like normal and so I feel normal. So, I would thank him for saying that I am a great performer, and next time I see him hopefully I will be able to talk to him a little more.
15. I have seen you twice in concert. Was there a band, when you were young, that you used to see over and over?
I never could afford to go to concerts, but I do remember going to see George Strait and Alabama when I was just a kid, a small kid.
16. Did you get your start in the same bar in Beaumont, Texas, as Mark Chesnutt?
No, we actually worked at competing bars. He worked at Cutter’s, and I worked at a place called the Neon Armadillo.
17. What is your best golf score? I heard about the hole in one you had. Great job!
I shot a 70 at Green Bay Country Club in Wisconsin — two under par. It was a really great day because I played with another guy named Clay. His name is Clay Fullick and who was an [Texas] A&M student on the college golf team, and he shot even par, so I felt really good! (laughs) It was a great day, and it was pouring down raining the whole day. It rained the entire day.
18. I was deeply saddened when the Houston Texans were having a contest for a new fight song, after you graciously wrote one for our city and performed it and recorded so perfectly last year. How did that make you feel, and how did you feel after the Texas fans voted to bring your fantastic fight song back?
This song was written for charity and as a gift to the city. I donated all the proceeds to charity, every bit of it, even the writer’s portion of it and the publishing portion. It’s great that the McNairs brought football back to Houston, and that is the important thing. It gave our city a big uplift, and the music is just a small part of it. But it did feel good to know that that’s what the fans wanted, and it’s back, and it looks like it’s here to stay. I also want to add that I have been asked by the McNairs, who own the team, to sing, as a tradition, the anthem for every season’s home opener, which is really an honor.
19. What do you do for fun when you are not working?
I really like the outdoors. It doesn’t matter what I am doing. I really love nature and looking at different scenery. I just got back from Montana. I really enjoy being in the mountains and seeing the rivers — the different colors in the fall. There is not one particular thing that I like to do or that I am obsessed with. I just like to do a lot of things. If I am around people that I like, I will go do whatever they want to do. I can do anything from fish, golf, to watching football. There is just a menagerie of things that I like but not one particular thing.
20. If you could take three things with you to a deserted island, what would they be?
I would definitely have to take a good group of CDs and a boom box. I would have to have music. My whole life revolves around music. I listen to it all the time. I’d have a Jimmy Buffett CD, my Bob Seger Greatest Hits, my Definitive Collection by Lionel Richie, Merle Haggard’s box set and probably one or two from Celine Dion. … Let me see. Maybe a satellite dish so I could get CMT! (laughs) And I would have to have … what would I have to have? I’d have to have my fishing pole. With those three things, I’m set.