OFFSTAGE: Trace Adkins Says Rebuild Will Take Forever

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Actually, the phrase Trace Adkins used was “for freakin’ ever.” That’s how he described the slow-moving progress on the rebuilding of his Nashville home that was destroyed in a fire on June 4. For now, Adkins, his wife and three daughters are staying in the cabin at the farm they own. “The insurance company declared it a total loss, and now they have to figure out what that means and assign a value to it,” Adkins told me on Friday (July 22). “It takes ridiculously long. I just want to get what’s left of that house torn down. It looks sad. It’s the eyesore of the neighborhood. We all want to get it gone.” When I asked him about what they’d lost that day, Adkins turned bittersweet and told me about the home they’d lived in for 11 years. “Just over the last week, it’s falling in on me, like a delayed reaction,” he said. “Every day, you think of something else you lost, and those things just keep popping up, like someone smacking you again.” Among the treasures he’ll never see again is a guitar Buck Owens gave him with an inscription on the pickguard. “That’s gone,” he said. “Things like that. Pictures of me with my heroes. Portraits of my kids. That’s the stuff you miss the most. There’s that saying about how you stand outside what used to be your home after something like this, and you say, ’The family’s OK, and that’s all that matters.’ But until it’s actually happened to you, that’s when the weight of those words takes on a significance you never even imagined. Everything pales after that.” Even after all that destruction, what’s survived is Adkins’ appreciation for the important things. “Some things I wish I still had, but then you think of what it could’ve been,” he said, “and you can’t even let your mind go there. “

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.