Jason Aldean scored a No. 1 single in 2005 with “Why,” but his career took a giant leap forward earlier this year when “She’s Country” topped the chart. Seeing a significant increase in ticket sales for his tours, he’s settled into his status as one of country music’s newest headliners.
His current album, Wide Open, has been certified gold by the RIAA for shipments of 500,000 copies, and a concert DVD, Wide Open Live & More, will be released on Aug. 25.
Aldean did his first tour as a headliner during last year’s CMT on Tour that also featured Lady Antebellum. In a recent interview with CMT Insider, he talked about his current tour and how the success of “She’s Country” moved his career to an even higher level.
“We’ve been out playing a lot of the festivals, headlining a lot of the festivals,” he said. “It’s going great. This year, I kind of got to see first hand what a difference one huge song will make for you. ’She’s Country’ obviously changed a lot of things for us and pretty much, I think, doubled our crowd size in just a few months time.”
The momentum seems to be building with his current single, “Big Green Tractor,” which has already climbed to No. 6 on the Billboard country chart.
“I think ’Tractor’ was a song we felt like was something that was really cool on the record and something that had a chance at being a big song, but I don’t think you ever know,” he said. “You don’t know until it gets out there and people have a chance to hear it.”
Still, testing new material on the road is one way to gauge a song’s potential.
“Even before we released it as a single, it was getting a pretty big reaction at our shows,” he said. “Coming off of ’She’s Country’ being such a big record for us and then being able to follow it up with a song like ’Big Green Tractor,’ to be able to keep that momentum going and have two big songs back to back like that, it’s made a big difference this year.”
The bottom line, though, is that Aldean doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to analyze why listeners make a strong connection to certain songs.
“I haven’t figured out why people like what they like,” he said. “I don’t know. I wish I did. I could sell that to everybody, man, and be a millionaire. I think as an artist, you just have to put out the songs that you feel like represent you the best, and hopefully it translates to the audience and the people that are watching and listening.
“I don’t know what it is about what we’re doing that’s worked, but whatever it is, I don’t want to mess with it at all right now. It’s been a blast this year.”