During an interview when his comeback tour launched in Chicago, Brooks went on and on about Aldean’s “muscle country” and how “everybody tried to do that Jason thing.”
When I was in Nashville for CMA Awards week, I finally had my chance to ask Aldean about it.
“First of all, the fact that the dude even knows who I am cracks me up,” Aldean said. “Second of all, giving me compliments? That’s very cool. I don’t take stuff like that for granted at all.”
When Aldean was first playing clubs as a teenager in Georgia, he sang a lot of Brooks cover songs. In the ’90s, that was pretty much standard operating procedure for any aspiring country singer.
By the time Aldean had a steady gig in a house band, Brooks had released his first four albums which spawned more than 10 No. 1 songs and had already won the CMA’s entertainer of the year award twice.
So, yeah, you could say his music influenced Aldean.
“Garth’s such a legend in music,” Aldean said. “So that fact that he even cares enough to have an opinion on me really trips me out. Because as a kid growing up, when I first started getting into music and playing out, Garth was the guy. And when I was trying to break into the business, if you’d told me he’d ever say something like that, I would have thought that was ridiculous.”