Not only is South Carolina native Aaron Tippin a hit country singer, he’s also an accomplished bodybuilder and pilot and a collector of old trucks and heavy machinery. So it’s rather easy for Tippin to cut a record that pays homage to the heroes of the highway. Tippin, 50, also co-produced In Overdrive. This album of country classics was created for the American trucking professional and the people who care about them.
“I’ve had my heart set on doing this album for a long time,” the singer says. “Now, with the current economic state, I’m reminded of the unsung heroes of the road, that legion of devoted Americans, some 4 million strong, who make their living in the trucking industry and hammer down, day after day. And I wanted to make this record for them.”
Road favorites on In Overdrive include “East Bound and Down,” “Girl on a Billboard,” “Roll On” and “Six Days on the Road.” Tippin also co-wrote two new songs on the 14-track CD, “Drivin’ Fool” and “Drill Here, Drill Now.” He always loved everything about the trucking industry. “It’s part of my chemical makeup, I guess,” he says. “I love the way the trucks look, the shine, the mechanics, the ride, roar and the ruckus you feel when you pass a monster convoy or experience hundreds of tough-looking rigs rolling into a trucking convention or NASCAR race. I can appreciate the tireless and ongoing mammoth effort that goes into moving America… I’m humbled to thank my friends in the trucking business by singing my favorite road songs for them as we all roll on down the road.”
The Best of Trick Pony
Trick Pony reached the Top 15, scored more first-week sales than any new country group in SoundScan history, then went gold and was Country Top 40 for a year after its 2001 self-titled debut release. The hits from that album included “Pour Me,” “On a Night Like This” and the Grammy-nominated “Just What I Do.” Those songs are packaged on this new best-of release from Warner Bros. Records, which put out two total albums for the trio. After a 2005 release on Asylum-Curb, lead singer Heidi Newfield exited for a solo career, and Trick Pony’s ride ended.
The Best of Merle Haggard
In five decades on the country charts, Merle Haggard has released more than 100 chart singles, many of which rose to the Top 10 or even No. 1. The Bakersfield, Calif., native was a Capitol Records moneymaker for more than a decade, and the songs that did well for him during that time are included on this hits collection. The 10-track hit parade begins with “Okie From Muskogee,” segues to “Carolyn,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” and contains many other “Hag” favorites besides, including “Sing Me Back Home.”
Son of a Preacher Man
John Rich, half of the multi-platinum duo Big & Rich, makes his second major-label solo cut with Son of a Preacher Man. An artist, award-winning songwriter and producer in his own right, the Texas-born Rich picks up a solo career he began in the late 1990s after singing in Lonestar and before teaming up with Big Kenny. This project has fewer gimmicky songs than his duo work. You’ll find the mature “Shuttin’ Detroit Down” and the Truckers News favorite “Trucker Man.”
·2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks is going country with his latest single, “Seven Mile Breakdown.” It was scheduled to ship to country radio last month.
·Also apparently gone country (or maybe it’s the voters gone crazy) are Def Leppard and Robert Plant, former lead singer of Led Zeppelin. The rockers have been nominated for respective works in CMT’s country music video awards show this month.
·Aerosmith and ZZ Top are set for a three-month summer tour starting this month. Now that’s a classic rock dream team.