(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Jason Aldean is one of those rare country artists who records with his band. Meaning, the band he tours with. And has toured with for years. And he told Billboard Special Edition: Country's Best why he wouldn't have it any other way. "Everybody knows some of these studio guys are the best in the business: Technically, they're flawless. But to me, some of the flaws, some of the things that aren't clean, are what makes it cool, because it's a little raw," he says in the cover story. He adds that what he thinks makes it so appealing and believable and real is that it sounds like "maybe a very, very good garage band." As for what's next, Aldean alludes to another album taking shape. "If you ain't got the songs, you ain't got s**t." Then, he talks candidly about winning awards. "If I get nominated, I want to win. I'm not pissed when I don't, but this whole 'I'm just glad to be here' spiel? Not me. I'm glad to be there, but I'm there for a reason." You can get the mini magazine at Target, and it comes with a 20-track CD with songs from Aldean, plus the Zac Brown Band, Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan, Thompson Square and more.