(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Trace Adkins kicked off his summer last week at an iHeartRadio event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Right before he took the stage, he told me what summers mean to him these days.
"For anybody that does what I do for a living, summer is the meat of our year. That's really when we go to work, with all the fairs and festivals and huge outdoor events. It's our busiest time of the year," he said. "Has been for the past 17 years or so."
He's right. He already has about 30 tour stops on his schedule between now and Labor Day. But a couple of decades ago, before Adkins was a country star and before his breakout single "Every Light in the House Is On," his summers were a lot less busy and a little more carefree.
"No responsibilities, partying and going to the lake," he told me were his favorite parts. "I still enjoy that stuff. I just don't have much time to do it."
Now, he looks forward to the summer days when his kids can join him on tour. "My kids come out on the road with me sometimes, when I have a string of fairs or something. They'll come out, and then they think that dad eats corn dogs and rides Ferris wheels all day," Adkins said. "Like that's what I do for a living."