Easton Corbin brings more mature, natural sound to new studio album

Mercury Nashville recording artist Easton Corbin put the country music world on notice in 2009 when his No. 1 singles ‘A Little More Country Than That’ and ‘Roll With It’ were joined by the Top 15 hit, ‘I Can’t Love You Back.’ The native of rural Gilchrist County, Fla., became the first male country artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles top the charts, and Billboard named Corbin the Top New Country Artist of 2010. He also ranked No. 9 on Billboard’s list of Top Country Artists-Male—placing between Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw—and ‘Roll With It’ was named No. 6 Hot Country Song of the Year.

Corbin, 34, is lauded for his “traditional country sound, authentic lyrics and mastery of understatement,” according to a bio posted on the artist’s Facebook page. In 2010, he swept all of the ACA’s breakthrough awards including Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Music Video for ‘A Little More Country Than That,” and a label news release notes the Mercury Nashville artist “found the sweet spot” by discovering the secret formula for “effortlessly mixing contemporary country with the traditional sounds on which he was raised.”

This “musical alchemy” is what defines Corbin’s new album, About To Get Real. The singer-songwriter’s third major label release was produced by Carson Chamberlain and debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and No. 13 on the Billboard 200. About To Get Real appeals to a broad fan base with radio-ready beats that “sidle up alongside fiddle and steel guitar” to seamlessly create a modern and timeless sound.

“There’s not a whole lot of traditional country music out there today. But what’s great about the country genre is how wide it is—there’s room for everybody,” says Corbin. “I definitely feel that I’ve discovered my natural sound with [About To Get Real].” Corbin co-wrote three of the tracks on the new album including the “steel-heavy ‘70s ballad” ‘Like a Song,’ the “nostalgic slice-of-life” ‘Diggin’ on You,’ and the “surprisingly sweet” ‘Damn Girl,’ which finds the singer apologizing to a “particularly fine woman” for his “spontaneous titular exclamation.”

Corbin says he has to relate in some way to the songs he writes and/or sings. “That’s where maturing and growing older comes into play,” he explains, adding that life experiences are what come through in his music and writing. Corbin is also adamant about cutting songs that “go beyond the bottle and the bonfire.” For example, he re-recorded the About To Get Real ballad, ‘Are You With Me,’ because he’s convinced the song that’s currently No. 44 and No. 45 on the Billboard and Mediabase country airplay charts, respectively, is “the type of song country needs right now.”

“About to Get Real was a great title for this record because I just love what that says. It pretty much explains everything,” he says. “When country fans listen to this album, I want them to take away that, even though the music mixes the modern with the classic, it’s entirely real. Like the music of my heroes, it’s the real deal.” Corbin is supporting About To Get Real by joining the Swon Brothers in opening for Carrie Underwood during the fall leg of her North American “The Storyteller Tour,” hitting more than 30 major city venues through November.

Watch Easton Corbin in the official music video for ‘Are You With Me,’ the Florida-born singer-songwriter’s latest sinfle from his third studio album, About To Get Real.

As A Matter of Fact…

* Easton Corbin was born April 12, 1982, in rural Gilchrist County, Florida. Corbin says he remembers wanting to be a country singer as young as age four, growing up on his grandparents' cattle farm. He was active in the local FFA and 4-H chapters, and loved watching various Opry television shows with his grandparents.

* Corbin explored his grandfather's record collection and began taking guitar lessons at age 15, learning from his mentor and former Nashville session guitarist, Pee Wee Melton. He was soon playing lead guitar in a local band while also honing a solo act.

* An audition at a local music store led to a solo spot on-stage at the nearby Suwannee River Jam festival. He also opened for national acts including Janie Fricke and Mel McDaniel. After earning a business degree at the University of Florida’s College of Agriculture, Corbin got married and moved to Nashville in 2006.

* In 2009, Corbin met booking agent James Yelich and Universal Music Group Nashville A&R director, Joe Fisher, who signed Corbin to the group's Mercury Nashville imprint. Producer Carson Chamberlain worked with Corbin on his debut single, ‘A Little More Country Than That,’ which was released in July 2009.

* The song was the title track of a four-song EP that appeared a month later, leading up to the 2010 arrival of his self-titled, full-length debut. ‘A Little More Country Than That’ was one of the album’s two No. 1 country singles in 2010 along with the track, ‘Roll With It.’

* Corbin followed up his debut release with 2012's All Over the Road, which was also produced by Chamberlain and yielded two more Top 10 country singles with ‘Lovin' You Is Fun’ and the title track.

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