Easton Corbin: Comparisons to George Strait Don't Bother Him.
It’s not hard to listen toEaston Corbin without thinking of George Strait. No, not hard at all.
The 30-year-old country singer from Florida has almost the same inflection, the same pure baritone, the same phrasing, even the same dark good looks as the veteran country singer from Texas who’s responsible for more than 50 No. 1 hits.
Corbin doesn’t mind the comparisons, not one bit.
“No, it’s a huge compliment,” said a laughing Corbin in a call from a Chick-Filet outside his new hometown of Nashville. “There are a lot of worse things to be compared to. George is one of my heroes, definitely a guy to look up to.”
Strait’s legacy is a long way in the future for Corbin, but he’s off to a good start. The youngster’s self-titled debut album, issued in 2009, yielded a pair of No. 1 hits, “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It,” as well as a tune that rose all the way to No. 15, “I Can’t Love You Back.”
“All Over the Road,” the new CD from Corbin, who plays to a sold-out Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown Saturday night, just might do the same. The first song off it, “Lovin’ You Is Fun,” was released last February and rose to No. 8 on Billboard’s country single charts. The title cut has just come out as a single and is going gangbusters.
Kind of like the man who sings it.
Corbin is a workaholic. Or more accurately, a tour-aholic. He’s been out with big acts like Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton, and this spring, after finishing his solo headlining tour in clubs like the Dusty A, will return to the road with Shelton.
Those big-venue dates are pretty much classrooms, and Corbin is soaking it up.
“Guys who’ve been touring a long time – the Brad Paisleys, the Rascal Flatts, the Blake Sheltons – they’re successful because they’re doing something right,” Corbin said. And only part of it is onstage two hours every night.
“It’s definitely a business,” said Corbin. “I would love for it to be about the music all the time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The stage time is the least time in what I do, even if it is the most fun.”
Fun is the operative word for Saturday night in Rootstown.
“When you’re playing in a bar, you’ve got the run of your own deal,” said Corbin. “You can kind of manage time how you want to and play more of your stuff. [Opening for someone else] it’s so many minutes and you gotta hit with the most you can and get all your songs in there.”
That means fans likely will hear more from “All Over the Road,” the sophomore CD that shows a surprising amount of growth.
“You definitely grow as an artist,” Corbin admitted, “and that’s very important. It’s always a growing process. I know there’s music I can do now that I don’t think I could do before because I’m just a more developed artist, able to express myself a little better.”
That’s really clear in “A Thing for You” and “This Feels a Lot Like Love” on the new album, and for good reason: Corbin co-wrote them.
“They’re me,” he said. “They’re definitely good ol’ country music. That’s what I do, that’s what I grew up doing and loving and that’s what I want to keep doing.”
Hey, it worked for that Strait fellow, so why not?